The Economic Coordination Committee in a meeting on Monday approved a financial support package amounting to Rs17 billion for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) – the country’s national flag carrier.

The meeting – chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar – also gave a go-ahead to allocation of 10 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas to Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and 12MMCFD gas to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited from two gas fields, respectively.

It had been proposed earlier that the government provide a subsidy to the gas utility companies for supply to domestic consumers by injecting additional gas during the winter season, when the demand peaks.

On the other hand, PIA has been plagued by financial losses over the past years, and has relied on the government’s support at various times to continue operating. The airline accumulated losses of Rs356 billion with total liabilities amounting to Rs406 billion against assets of only Rs111 billion, it told the Supreme Court during a hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to its financial situation in June 2018.