On Wednesday, Pakistani authorities commenced discussions with entities eligible to bid for the national airline, addressing concerns such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ban on the carrier, according to officials.

The privatization of this state-owned, loss-making enterprise has been a longstanding recommendation from the International Monetary Fund for Pakistan, which is currently negotiating a long-term bailout deal with the fund. In June, Islamabad permitted six companies and consortia to participate in bidding for 51% to 100% of Pakistan International Airlines, with the process potentially starting by the end of next month.

The EASA safety ban was a primary concern among bidders, as highlighted by Privatisation Commission secretary Usman Bajwa during a media briefing alongside Privatisation Minister Abdul Aleem Khan. The minister did not reveal the expected revenue from the sale but noted that bidders were highly interested, considering the airline's profitability aside from its historical debt and liabilities.

"I have no idea how much it will fetch," he stated. "Any investor who purchases PIA will start making profits from day one." The EASA imposed restrictions on the airline's most profitable routes in Europe and Britain following a 2020 plane crash in Karachi that killed nearly 100 people, followed by a scandal involving pilot licenses.

Additionally, the PIA-owned Roosevelt hotel in Manhattan, along with other government assets including the House Building Finance Company and First Woman bank, are being sold as part of a broader privatization initiative. Bajwa mentioned that real estate investment management services firm JLL is providing advice on the potential sale, joint venture, or lease of the property, with the government aiming to make a decision by August.