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PIA told to pay £400,000 in compensation

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been told by the UK High Court that it must compensate two travel agents to the tune of £400,000.

Judges at the trial were told that two businessmen were completely cut off from receiving commission for selling its tickets, the BBC reports.

Riaz Hussain Syed took PIA to the court in order to try and get the money he alleged he was owed, but lawyers at the airline argued their termination of the commission was lawful.

A spokesperson for PIA told the BBC: "We lost this case for fuel surcharges, but we settled out of court with some of them."

It is unclear how much the airline paid to Mr Syed and fellow travel agent Anwar Malik, both of east London, out of court, or the nature of the fuel surcharge payments the PIA representative is referring to.

Mr Syed, who is also the chairman of the Association of Pakistan Travel Agents, which represents 39 vendors across the UK, disputed that PIA had settled any of its debts outside of the courts.

"We wanted to settle out of court, but they told us to get a judgment order if we wanted to be paid what we thought we should be paid," the travel agent explained.

PIA is currently facing extensive financial difficulties and made pre-tax losses in excess of eight billion rupees (£45 million) last year, something that has left it with a sizeable hole in its balance books.

The airline also saw negative headlines earlier this year when a 54-year-old pilot that had been due to fly from Leeds Bradford Airport to Pakistan was arrested for being drunk.

Some 180 passengers had to be deboarded from the plane and put into hotels in the incident, with Irfan Faiz, the pilot who was charged, taken off the plane by police officers as he went through his pre-flight checks.

Mr Faiz has since admitted to being over four times the legal limit at the time of his arrest.

By Chris Stevenson