Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) says the carrier's turnaround is underway and has reaffirmed its commitment to the task.

In a series of videos to staff on its Twitter page, PIA and chief executive Rasool Cyan reveal that in the last quarter ended 31 December 2017, the carrier reduced operational losses to PRs 6 billion ($54.5 million).

In addition, sales revenues for 2017 grew 25% year-on-year. Cyan describes the figures as "a feat nobody expected PIA to do".

"The last quarter of 2017 has witnessed improvement in all business KPIs [and] is demonstrating that PIA is moving in the right direction," adds the carrier.

There was no mention, however, about the reported interest by the Pakistani government to privatise the state-owned carrier.

As part of the turnaround, Cyan says that PIA has been recommissioning more aircraft that were previously in storage - some for as long as over 400 days - so that "[its] assets can earn value".

"The mission is great, PIA needs to be revived, PIA needs to thrive as an airline. We need to take the Pakistan flag higher and higher."

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that PIA operates a fleet of 37 aircraft, including Airbus A320s, Boeing 777s and ATR turboprops. It also has three A310s in storage.

PIA refuted local media reports that said it plans to shrink its network, adding that it has been launching new services, as well as rationalising and restructuring poorly performing routes.

"The 2018 operating plan has been developed and is based around the core idea of becoming economically viable."

The carrier says that it will also seek to operate a cost efficient fleet and move capacity from loss-making routes to potentially high-yield ones.

It also plans increase its aircraft utilisation rate and add capacity via more dry lease aircraft in the year ahead.

"PIA will be moving towards its clear goal of revenue optimisation with a lower cost base. This will have a positive impact on operating profit and losses."

Source: Cirium Dashboard