Pakistan government has no intention to sell NY hotel: Minister

The Pakistan government has no intention of selling the Roosevelt Hotel in New York owned by flag carrier, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said

Oct 13, 2020
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The Pakistan government has no intention of selling the Roosevelt Hotel in New York owned by flag carrier, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said.

"All reports circulating in the media are nothing more than speculation and political point-scoring," Dawn news quoted the Minister as saying on Monday.

Khan said the hotel's management had taken out a loan of $160 million from the JP Morgan Bank and was making regular payments from its own revenue stream.

The balance outstanding at the moment is $105 million.

However, the hotel ran into financial trouble after the Covid-19 pandemic, giving the lender a pretext to sell off its liabilities to another company. That firm has now set its sights on purchasing the hotel.

It even attempted a takeover of the property, but the Pakistan government put its foot down and decided to take the matter into its own hands, Khan said.

"The Roosevelt Hotel is currently operational and has valid contracts till December this year with a number of airlines.

Multiple options are being considered for its future and all decisions are made collectively by the hotel's board and the government of Pakistan," the Minister was quoted as saying.

The 19-storey Roosevelt Hotel, located in Manhattan, was acquired by the PIA in 1979 on partnership and as a part of its diversification strategy, Dawn news said in the report.

In 1999, it acquired 100 per cent shareholding from its own resources.

(IANS)