No one get your hopes up. This could just be one of those flash-in-the-pan decisions they make that never materialise. God knows we've heard such outlandish statements like this before with nothing tangeable bearing fruit. We've been hearing since the last one year about them flying to LAX. What happened there? Rio? Would they have traffic for that route, and how would they fly there? If they fly to FCO via 2 stops, then here were talking South America. They end up there via 3 to 4 countries! Most of the countries they mention have in the recent past been visited by Musharraf, so maybe its Govt inducing them to fly to these places.
And yes, they right now do not have enough a/c to fly to these places and at the rate its taken them to decide on a Fokker replacement, we'll all have grey hair by the time these 35 more a/c join the fleet. Knowing PIA's modus operandi, I guess this is how it'll work out:
2005: Decision taken to add 35 more a/c to the fleet, including 4 more 777's in addition to the 8 already ordered.
2006: Both 777LR's are delivered and being flown to death. Still thinking about what to replace the Fokkers with. The 6 sold AB4's still sitting at KHI.
2007: Decides on a Fokker replacement. Calls for tenders and the turboprop manufacturers sigh and think "Here we go again". AB4's still sitting at KHI.
2008: First 777-300ER arrives amid great fanfare. Again its reiterated that more 777's will be added to the fleet. AB4's still sitting unclaimed at KHI.
2009: Fokker replacement shelved due to one reason or another and the manufacturers show them the middle finger. Fokkers in service now flying on band aids. Remainder 777-300's arrive and again its stated that more 777's will be ordered. AB4's still sitting at KHI.
2010: The 6 A310's lease expires and PIA decides to buy them. Major national enquiry is launched into investigating the 'transparency' of the whole deal. MNG takes delivery of AB4's only to discover they've half fallen apart and a major dispute arises which ends up in the courts and goes on for a good 5 years. The Fokkers are now at Gods mercy and another tender is issued for anything which flies on 2 turbo props. No one comes forward.
2011: PIA decides to retain the 74M's and some of the 743's for a few more years and spends millions of $ in refurbishing them. Issues another statement that more 777's will be added, but undecided as to which single aisle a/c to induct. Another major enquiry is launched questioning the necessity to refurbish the 74M's and 743's and the 'transparency' of the whole deal.
2012: PIA suddenly grounds the 74M's and offers them for sale. National Assembly in uproar as to why these symbols of our national heritage are being sold off to another country and that too for a throw away price!! A sucker comes along agreeing to buy them and then they sit at KHI awaiting the unfortunate new owner to take delivery of them. In the meanwhile they join the lineup of the 'currently in litigation' AB4's already sitting there.
2013: The 2 742's at LHE finally collapse under their own weight. Enquiry called to examine as to how such a thing could have happened and why they were not put to use. 74M's and AB4's sitting at KHI. PIA takes delivery of half a dozen 20 year old Fokkers from some banana republic airline and an enquiry is launched questioning the 'transparency' of the whole deal and how could PIA consider paying so much for so old an a/c. Statement issued that more 777's will be joining the fleet and single aisle a/c still being determined.
2014: PIA decides to induct three 25 year old A310F's from some airline and the price of each a/c is being negotiated. 74M's and AB4's still sitting at KHI.
2015: Price on A310F's still not decided, negotiations still going on. A few of the 743's are now grounded and put up for sale. National Assembly stages walkout and goes on hunger strike. The 743's join the 74M's and AB4's at KHI. Statement issued that more 777's will be inducted.
2016: Buyer approaches PIA for the 743's and price agreed upon and new owner pledges to take delivery soon. 74M's and AB4's still in KHI. Statement issued that more 777's are about to join the fleet and Boeing is scratching its head wondering what they hell they're talking about.
2017: Single aisle a/c still not decided and now the 733's are grounded and put up for sale. NA session ends up in several arrests and rape cases and a state of emergency being declared. Demonstraters stage a sit in outside JIAP and the PIA head office and the KHI press club. The now 24 year old 'recently inducted' Fokkers take over the 733 routes. 743's, 74M's and AB4's still sitting at KHI.
2018: Case of MNG v. PIA is decided and MNG granted compensation on the ground that they haul off the remains of the AB4's sitting in KHI. 743's and 74M's still sit there awaiting their fate.
2019: Buyer comes to take delivery of 74M's and discovers them to be pieces of junk ala AB4 and another case is filed in court. Statement issued that more 777's are just around the corner. 743's still sitting at KHI.
2020: With only Fokkers, A310's and 777's left and the A310F negotiations still going on, PIA announces once weekly flights to LAX via LHE, BKK, MNL, NRT, HNL on whats left of the remaining 743's and to Rio via DXB, IST, FRA, CDG and IAH on an A310. Grounded 743's still sitting at KHI.
2021: PIA announces 3rd daily flight to DXB nonstop on the Fokker. EK in the meanwhile is flying 6 daily A380's. Announcement that more 777's are on short finals.
2022: Rio flights suspended due to no traffic and LAX is upped to twice a week using the ex-Rio A310. Once a week flight to Glasgow is announced with an A310 from KHI via Faisalabad, LHE and ISB. 743's sitting in KHI.
2023: PIA agrees to buy 3 ex-UAL 777's now 30+ years old to suppliment its current 'ageing' 777's. Negotiations for the A310F's collapse, as do the 'under litigation' 74M's. 743's sitting at KHI narrowly 'escape disaster' from being damaged by the flying debris of the collapsed 74M's. 733's sitting awaiting buyer AKA some sucker.
2024: Sucker comes in the form of Aero Asia who agrees to take them and begins using them on domestic routes. PIA cries foul as all its Fokker traffic runs to Aero Asia and Govt slaps Aero Asia on the knuckles and restricts them to operating them on 'selected routes' only where PIA does not operate the Fokkers. 743's at KHI still.
2025: 74M litigation resolved and buyer is awarded the task of hauling away whats left of the 74M's.
2026: The 3 ex-UAL 777's arrive and enquiry launched into 'transparency' of the deal and air worthiness of such old a/c. National Assembly debates the reason for induction of such 'old' a/c whereas PIA could still have used the grounded 743's and 733's for 'several more years'. Buyer for 743's still missing.
2027: PIA refurbishes grounded 743's at several million $, puts them back into service and grounds the remaining flying 743's and puts those up for sale. Buyer for the first batch of grounded 743's turns up and demands to take delivery of a/c. PIA offers them the newly grounded 743's and another case is filed in the courts.
2028: I think by now you get the picture