Pakistan International Airlines plane with around 100 people on board crashes in Karachi

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with around 100 people on board has crashed in a residential area in the country’s largest city of Karachi, an airline spokesman has said.

Local reports said the state-run airline’s Airbus A320 was travelling from Pakistan’s capital Lahore.

The state carrier said flight PK 8303 had crashed with 99 passengers and eight crew members on board, though civil
aviation officials said the total for both may be 99.

“The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem,” PIA spokesman Abdullah H Khan said in a video statement. “It is a very tragic incident.”

It is feared there may be more casualties as the plane came down on houses in the Model Colony area in the city.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Armed Forces tweeted that helicopters were being used in the search and rescue effort and that paramilitary troops had reached the site, alongside civil administration.

Local TV station Geo showed crowds near the scene which appeared to be a densely populated area and ambulances trying to make their way through. It also showed black smoke billowing above buildings.

Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing near Jinnah International Airport.

A senior civil aviation official told the Reuters news agency it appeared the plane was unable to open its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing, but it was to early to determine the cause.

The residential area on the edge of the airport known as Model Colony is a poor area and heavily congested.

A resident of the area, Abdul Rahman, said he saw the aircraft circle at least three times, appearing to try to land at the airport before it crashed into several houses.

The flight typically takes an hour and a half to travel from the northeastern city of Lahore to Karachi.

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash.

Source: Read Full Article

American Airlines posts $2.2 billion loss on pandemic, first since bankruptcy exit

(Reuters) – American Airlines (AAL.O) on Thursday posted a $2.2 billion net loss, its first quarterly loss since emerging from bankruptcy in 2013, and warned of a roughly $70 million per day cash burn in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic halts travel.

Shares fell 4.3% before the bell.

Airlines – among the sectors hardest-hit by the pandemic – have grounded jets, canceled flights and suspended dividends and share buybacks among measures to shore up cash.

“Never before has our airline, or our industry, faced such a significant challenge,” Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a statement.

The U.S. airline swung to a net loss of $2.2 billion in the first quarter to March 31 from a $185 million profit a year earlier.

Excluding items, the net loss was $1.1 billion, or $2.65 per share, below analyst estimates of a $2.33 per share loss, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total operating revenue declined nearly 20% to $8.5 billion.

The pandemic ended one of the longest expansion in U.S. history, with the nation’s economy contracting at its sharpest pace since the Great Recession in the first quarter. Airline executives have warned that demand may not recover to 2019 levels for years.

American has already reduced its flight schedule by about 80% in both April and May. Its June capacity will be down 70%, it said.

It sees liquidity at $11 billion in the second quarter, up from $6.8 billion in the first, and Parker said on a conference call that the daily cash burn should slow to about $50 million in June.

Its overall cash position will be helped by a $4.75 billion government loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for which it will have to pledge a portion of its assets as collateral.

American said that, following a recent appraisal, it believes its unencumbered assets are worth over $10 billion, excluding the value of its AAdvantage loyalty program.

It is also receiving $5.8 billion in payroll aid, which bars airlines from cutting pay or jobs through Sept. 30.

Source: Read Full Article