Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has confirmed it is in negotiations with SriLankan Airlines concerning the wet lease of four Airbus A330-300s.
The Pakistani national carrier has been looking for additional widebody jets to operate its new premier service, which is being launched on August 14. SriLankan Airlines has proposed leasing four of its seven Airbus A330-300s and a high-level team from PIA, led by CEO Bernd Hildenbrand, recently visited Colombo to inspect the aircraft and negotiate a contract.
SriLankan Airlines is looking to offload the jets after the Government of Sri Lanka said that it would no longer fund continuing losses. As a result, SriLankan has ended all operations to Europe, bar its daily Colombo-London link, leaving it with spare capacity.
Pakistan International Airlines’ new premier service will debut on the London Heathrow route, and will feature fully lie-flat beds in the premium cabins. The airline is putting its cabin crew through a three-week training course to prepare them for its introduction.
A statement on PIA’s website said: “With new aircraft, more professional crew and improved service standards, the new service aims at providing an altogether different experience to passengers. This service will go a long way in helping PIA regain its market share both domestically as well as internationally.”