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PIA resumes flights after airline chief resigns

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has resumed all flights following a four-day strike by workers, after the airline's managing director resigned to placate the carrier's staff.

The state-owned carrier estimates that it has lost up to two billion Pakistani rupees ($23.6 million) on its passenger and cargo operations as a result of the flight cancellations, says an airline spokesman.

It was forced to cancel all flights on 10 and 11 February, and scrapped some flights on 8 and 9 February as a result of the industrial action.

Operations resumed on 12 February, after the airline's managing director Aijaz Haroon was replaced by Nadeem Yousafzai, says a PIA spokesman. Yousafzai was the director-general of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority. It is not clear yet who will replace him at the regulatory body.

More than 50,000 passengers were affected by the industrial action, and most have been accommodated on flights since operations resumed, says PIA's spokesman.

The airline's workers went on strike to protest against a planned codesharing agreement with Turkish Airlines, which they will feel will result in PIA losing profitable routes.

The agreement has now been held off for the moment, says PIA's spokesman. "We will start afresh with a new managing director. He will decide if we should go ahead with it," he adds.

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