US President Donald Trump show interest to Buy PIA’s Roosevelt Hotel in New York
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly was informed that US President Donald Trump had expressed an interest in buying the Rosevelt Hotel owned by PIA. The revelation was made by the managing director of PIA Investments Ltd, Najeeb Samie who surprised officials of the Privacy Commission, who initiated a transaction process to find an investor that could make PIA profitable.
The ninth meeting of the Standing Committee on Privatization was held under the Chairmanship of Syed Mustafa Mahmud, MNA, to obtain a detailed forum on the operation of Pakistan International Airline Corporation, the general operation of PIA (Investment Limited) and Roosevelt Hotel, New York, on privacy practices.
The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Khawaja Asif, has informed the committee in private that Trump has also expressed interest in buying a luxury hotel. IPIAIL Executive Director Najeeb Sami said the US President was “still excited about the hotel purchase”. He also pointed out that Roosevelt has been profitable for years. However, the hotel suffered a loss of $ 1.5 million in 2019.
Privacy Minister Mohammed Mian Soomro informed the committee that various options were currently being considered for the end of Roosevelt, adding that the financial adviser would decide on the lease of the hotel. A 19-room hotel with PIA executives with 1,025 rooms and other adjoining buildings in New York is considered an important and cultural center of Pakistan.
However, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly has declared that it is not the right time to make any decision regarding the Roosevelt Hotel because of COVID-19. The Roosevelt Hotel building is 100 years old and needs constant repairs and maintenance, requires a huge investment without a corresponding return. In February 2019, the Recreation Cabinet Committee realized that it had conducted a study on the possibility of being audited by various/financial options managers in order to get a higher return on the hotel.
The committee directed that they discuss Deloitte’s report ahead of the next meeting. The Department has announced the appointment of a financial advisor for audits and advice in various ways. Moreover, it would not be a wise decision to sell the property and invest in a business that makes a loss.
The secretary of the Aviation Division informed the Committee of the ongoing issue of alleged pilots’ licenses. He also announced that in 2018 the pilot had raised some objections to pilot tests conducted by CAA. A committee was set up in February 2019 to investigate the matter and a report was finalized in June 2019 presented to the Prime Minister.
The Committee was also informed that the authority was still investigating the matter. Other international airlines are also talking about cases of licensing of Pakistani pilots working for these airlines, with the authority issuing the permit after due confirmation.