An airport staffer walks past the entrance of international departures at the Islamabad airport. — Reuters/File

Pakistan Friday decided to outsource operations of the Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore airports to international operators in its bid to attract direct foreign investment and provide world-class facilities to passengers.

The development came during a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, where the discussion was focused on aviation and airports, statement by the PM Office read.

It was decided in the meeting that the country’s three major airports including the Jinnah International Airport Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore and Islamabad International Airport will be outsourced.

The premier also directed that in the outsourcing process, all departments concerned should take steps efficiently. He further said transparency should be ensured in this process.

The meeting was given a detailed briefing on the outsourcing of airports. It was informed that outsourcing airports are a normal profit-seeking practice throughout the world.

It was told that initially Islamabad International Airport and International Airport Lahore will be outsourced under a public-private partnership (PPP).

The outsourcing of airports would not only provide revenue to the government but it will also help improve facilities for international travellers.

Officials also briefed the meeting on the performance of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

It was informed that the PIA collected revenue worth Rs172 billion in 2022, which is the highest amount in the history of the national airline.

The meeting was told that four new A-320 fleets have been included in PIA, according to the statement. Moreover, the network of the airline has also been expanded.

The meeting was briefed that wide-body aircraft are being included in PIA’s fleet.

Expressing satisfaction over the performance of PIA, the prime minister appreciated the role of Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and relevant officers.

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