PIA’s Roosevelt Hotel in New York leased to New York City administration for a period of three years: Saad Rafique
Says Govt of Pakistan to receive $220 million in wake of this agreement reached with the administration
LAHORE ( Web News )
Roosevelt Hotel owned by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), located in New York has been leased to New York City administration for a period of three years.
Addressing a press conference at Lahore here on Sunday, Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Muhammad Saad Rafique said that Roosevelt Hotel now was out of danger of marketing and added its aged has crossed 100 years. He said that the stories selling out this hotel have ended now. Lease has been signed with administration will provide residential facilities to ‘housing migrants’ in the hotel.
Federal Minister further said that the Roosevelt Hotel, which was closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had become a major concern for the government.
“An agreement has been reached with the New York City Administration, whereby the government of Pakistan will receive $220 million,” he said, adding that, “Under this agreement, 1025 rooms of the hotel have been leased for a period of three years”. He further said that the hotel will bear its own expenses and contribute to Pakistan’s economy.
According to media reports, the hotel has long been in the possession of Pakistan’s national carrier which has been bleeding money from every possible direction for years on end now.
Back in December 2022, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) had been in very serious discussions to sell the hotel in a bid to bolster the PIA’s finances and stop it from being privatised.
In use by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) since the late 1970s, the Roosevelt Hotel occupies a unique place both in the history of the United States and Pakistan’s national airline. One of the grand-old buildings of 19th century New York, the hotel was bought by developer Paul Milstein in July 1978.
The minister further said that there were plans to outsource airports in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad, adding that outsourcing airports could serve as a solution to address the persistent basic facility woes in the country. The operation of these airports will be entrusted to an international firm, with the aim of enhancing the services provided, he added.
The minister also highlighted the lack of basic facilities in the existing airports, emphasizing the need for improvement. He said that an agreement has been signed with the International Financing Corporation (IFC), and numerous countries have expressed interest in collaborating with the IFC.
Recognizing the existing challenges, Saad Rafique said that involving private entities in airport management and operations would lead to improved basic facilities for passengers and travelers.
In light of the current state of affairs, Saad Rafique emphasized that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) cannot continue in its current condition and that changes are required to improve its operations.