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No Intention to Sell Roosevelt Hotel, says PIA Chief

Pakistan International Airlines CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik on Tuesday announced that the government was not selling Roosevelt Hotel located in New York; however, it has been planned that the hotel would be shut down by December 31 for renovation and deliberations on its future.

Roosevelt was built in 1924 and is located in one of the most expensive places in New York City–Manhattan.

It was built by a US businessman and leased by PIA in 1979 through PIA Investments Ltd. A Saudi prince was one of the investors in the 1979 deal.

While briefing Senate Standing Committee on Aviation, Malik said, “The PIA has approached the privatisation commission through the federal government, which will hire a financial consultant via an international tendering process to devise the future course of action, considering all the available options”.

“It will be decided later whether necessary renovation or repair work be carried out or the existing building be demolished for reconstruction and raising a 100-storey hotel for which local bylaws are conducive.”

The PIA chief further said the weakening business of the hotel was intensified due to the global pandemic, and could increase the company’s losses to $6 million/year.

The PIA CEO said the 100-storey hotel building will be renovated.

Operations will end on October 31 and the last bookings are being accepted till October 10.

The hotel is making alternative arrangements for guests who have booked past this date.

“Due to the current economic impacts, after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to The Grand Dame of New York, The Roosevelt Hotel, is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of Oct 31, 2020,” the announcement read.

The hotel has 1,025 guest rooms, including 33 suites. It has also been featured in a number of Hollywood movies, including The Boiler Room, Wall Street, Quiz Show, Presumed Innocent, Malcolm X, Monday Night Mayhem, The French Connection, Hanky Panky, Men in Black 3, The Dictator, Man on a Ledge, Maid in Manhattan, The Hoax and 1408.

Meanwhile, chairman of the committee, Senator Mushahidullah Khan said, the PIA should consider reopening of the routes where the COVID-19 issues had been addressed especially Japan and China.

Khan said his committee would stand with the positive development and initiatives of the national- carrier administration for the betterment of its services as PIA was passing through a tough time.

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