Pakistan International Airlines Corp. will lay off half of its 14,000 employees, replace some of its fleet and permanently close loss-making routes in a bid to become profitable for the first time in more than a decade.

Pakistan’s cabinet approved the carrier’s restructuring, said Ishrat Hussain, an adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan. It also requested to explore outsourcing management contract or sale of 26% stake in the airline after improving its balance sheet, he said.

The plan follows revival attempts in the past that were blocked by protesting employees or political opposition. This time, there are “no grandiose plans to become like Emirates or Etihad or Qatar,” Hussain said in a recent interview. It will be “a very lean and efficient organization,” he said. The aim is to return PIA to profit by 2023.

Bloated

Pakistan’s national carrier has more employees per aircraft than most airlines

Source: Bloomberg