Pakistan okays $105mln debt settlement for PIA-owned Roosevelt Hotel

This undated file photo shows a street view of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, United States. (Photo courtesy: Roosevelt Hotel)
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Updated 12 August 2020

Pakistan okays $105mln debt settlement for PIA-owned Roosevelt Hotel

  • Media reported last month that the government planned to sell the New York-based hotel
  • Cabinet Committee on Privatization has decided against privatising the hotel, will run it as a joint venture instead

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday gave a “principled go-ahead” to the settlement of outstanding loans of the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York, which is owned by Pakistan’s national flag carrier.
“ECC of the Cabinet has given principled go-ahead to the payment of all liabilities and responsibilities resulting from a debt of $ 105 million secured by the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) owned Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
The ECC meeting was chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who asked the Finance Division to engage with the Law Division, Aviation Division and Planning Commission to formalize the mode of payment and refinancing “as per schedule of the loan contracted by the Roosevelt Hotel to meet its financial challenges, and submit to ECC in its next meeting for formal approval.”
Media reported last month that the government planned to sell the hotel but the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) decided against privatising it and said it would be run as a joint venture instead. The CCoP has also directed the Privatization Commission to hire a financial adviser to start the process in light of a report by accounting firm Deloitte in July 2019 recommending that “the highest and best use of the Roosevelt Hotel property is to redevelop the site into a mixed-use [property] (through joint venture) of primarily an office tower over retail and condominium.”


Pakistan International Airlines to expand flight operations to Saudi Arabia

Updated 3 min 43 sec ago

Pakistan International Airlines to expand flight operations to Saudi Arabia

  • Currently limited to 23 weekly flights to Saudi Arabia due to coronavirus, PIA spokesman says
  • Pakistan has sought permission from Saudi Arabia to add another 28 flights 

ISLAMABAD: A spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines has said flight operations to Saudi Arabia would be expanded soon due to high demand.
Pakistan allowed outbound international flights to resume in May after largely closing its airspace to commercial flights to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Domestic flights also resumed in May.
“PIA was limited to 23 weekly flights due to Covid,” PIA said, adding that it had sought permission from Saudi Arabia to add another 28 flights “due to the huge rush of bookings.”
“Permits are expected in a day or two, after which flight operations will be expanded,” the airline said. “In this regard, the PIA administration is in constant touch with the Saudi authorities.”