Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will start charging all fares in US dollars for all flights to and from Pakistan starting from August 12 this year, the national flag carrier has confirmed.
PIA’s manager for public affairs Athar Hasan said the decision is being taken following a recent directive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to ensure best international practices in the airline industry.
According to the document available with The UAE News, PIA issued directives on August 8, 2019 to its travel agents and sales outlets. It says, “The airline has approved the ‘filing of fares in the US dollar’ of all ex-Pakistan domestic flights, as well as international current fares, penalties and charges; these will be converted from the Pakistani rupee to the US currency with effect from August 12.”
It added, “All ex-Pakistan fares will be approved and filed in the US dollar, but will be reflected on the ticket in local currency by converting at the system exchange rate. Whenever there’s any fluctuation in the currency, the fares in Pakistan rupee will automatically be updated.”
Other airlines in the private sector will also follow the IATA directive and will charge airfares in US dollar or in Pakistani rupee equivalent to the US currency at the time of booking.
Travel agents feared that the latest move will increase airfares due to a weak rupee. However, passengers who book tickets outside will get the advantage of competitive rates.
An aviation expert says this is an interesting move by PIA, especially when you consider the weakness of the rupee, which has continued to lose value against the greenback and the British pound.