The troubled private airline Shaheen Air is finalizing an acquisition deal with a Saudi prince.
According to acting Shaheen Air CEO Javed Sehbai:
We have finalized the deal with a Saudi Prince. We will be conducting a press conference very soon to announce our Investor and share the details of the acquisition. This deal will be a breakthrough for the airline as well as for Pakistani aviation industry itself.
Shaheen Air, which was the largest private airline in Pakistan with 16 aircraft at the start of the year, has been shut down for a few months by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and FBR because of its failure to pay Rs. 1.44 billion in dues.
Shaheen Air’s Regular Public Transport Licesnse (RPT) was suspended by the CAA, and the airline currently has no aircraft in its fleet.
Before these recent troubles, Shaheen was a rapidly growing airline with flights to the gulf region, England, and China, in addition to the domestic sector. The Shaheen Air leadership has complained of a difficult aviation policy in the past with high duties and taxes which are not conducive to an airline.
Currently, only 3 airlines operate in Pakistan: the government-owned PIA, Airblue and Serene Air.
In the past, several airlines including Bhoja Air, Aero Asia, and Air Indus have failed because of a highly competitive and difficult aviation sector.