PIA prepares to receive first A320 after earlier financial hold-up

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is now preparing to take delivery of its first Airbus A320 in June after an earlier deal to lease five of the aircraft type fell through.

A spokesman for the airline told Flightglobal Pro that the carrier had earlier been planning to take delivery of five A320s in March and April this year, but that it could not complete the finance agreements in time. As a result, those aircraft are now no longer available.

PIA's bid evaluation report had identified that the aircraft were manufactured in 2004 and 2005, and had been previously been operated by Brazilian carrier TAM and Jetstar Asia.

The spokesman adds that PIA is still in talks with BOC Aviation to lease four or five other A320s, and is now preparing to take delivery of its first of the type in early June.

The carrier also recently issued a request for proposals seeking for a Level-D qualified A320 simulator to meet its crew training requirements.

The A320s will replace the remaining three Boeing 737-300s in PIA's fleet, all of which are more than 25 years old.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that PIA also has three 737s in storage, including one that was damaged while landing in Muscat on 11 February.