A female flight attendant of PIA was detained at Manchester Airport on 12 April 2013, after half a kilogram of narcotics was recovered from her which was concealed in her laptop. The particular female cabin crew member was from flight PK-709 from Lahore to Manchester.
On 11 March 2013, we reported a delivery schedule for the PIA's Airbus A320, which the PIA is dry-leasing, however the delivery schedule has been revised. The first of the A320s will now be delivered in June this year, the second and third examples will be delivered during August 2013 and the fourth in November 2013. There is no mention of the fifth aircrafts, so it is assumed that PIA will only be leasing four Airbus A320s. The aircraft are being leased to relieve the current shortage of aeroplanes in PIA's fleet.
(22 Apr. 13)
PIA had recently advertised on local newspapers to dispose of its Boeing 747-240B Combi (ex-AP-BAK) and Boeing 737-340 (ex-AP-BCA) aircraft by open public auction, on "As is, Where is" basis. The auction will be held at Karachi Airport on April 23, 2013.
Originally, PIA invited bids for the disposal of these planes by sealed bids in February this year.
(09 Apr. 13)
The Ministry of Defence has appointed task force of three serving military officials to look at PIA's current situation, particularly the human resource. According to PIA sources, Brigadier Hamid Usman, Colonel Atif Dar and Wing Commander Zulfiqar will constitute the task force and will remain appointed in PIA for three months. They will not draw any salary from the airline. The task force will prepare a report regarding matters of PIA and will submit it to the Defence Ministry.
PIA, on 19 March 2012, has issued a "Request for Proposal", for flight simulators for Airbus A320-200 and ATR-42/72-500.
PIA Engineering & Maintenance Department, which has an extensive repair and maintenance facility for its aircraft at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, has performed its first major maintenance check (A-Check) of Boeing 777 aircraft at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.In order to extend aircraft maintenance network, PIA has started to build maintenance hubs at Lahore and Islamabad in addition to its base at Karachi. Performing an A-Check of B777 aircraft is a major milestone in this regard. PIA Engineering plans to extend the maintenance facilities at Lahore and Islamabad further, to perform major checks of all aircraft in its fleet and also offer services to third party customers to generate additional revenue for the airline.
A PIA flight PK-387, from Islamabad to Karachi via Multan, suffered a bird strike over Multan, on 13 March 2013. The nose cone/radome of the Boeing 737-300 was damaged due to the bird hit. The plane managed to land safely, following an inspection the aircraft was allowed to resume its flight to Karachi.
(25 Mar. 13)
The delivery schedule of the PIA's five Airbus A320s, which it has acquired on lease, was recently revealed. According to the schedule, PIA will receive the first of the A320 on 20 March and the second on 31 March 2013. After which one will be delivered in early April this year and the remainder two will be delivered in May 2013.
A PIA Boeing 747-300, flight Pk-301 from Islamabad to Karachi suffered a bird strike, on 28 February 2013. No further details are available at this stage.
The PIA aircraft ATR-42-500, registration AP-BHJ, which skidded off the runway at Lahore's Allama Iqbal Airport, on 31 August 2012 and suffered damage to its starboard side main landing gear & number 2 engine, has been declared a write-off (beyond economical repair). PIA acquired the plane in December 2006.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Federal Cabinet, on 26 February 2013, approved an interim business plan presented by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for next five years.
The ECC also allowed the Ministry of Finance to issue continuing fresh guarantees amounting Rs. 49.0 billion during the current year to meet with the critical liquidity condition of the corporation.
The ECC, agreed to the request of Ministry of Defense for the arrangement/provision of US $ 46.0 million by the Ministry of Finance with or without Government of Pakistan's guarantees, enabling the PIA to acquire five narrow body aircraft to replace its ageing fleet.
The ECC also agreed to the proposal for extending the loans/guarantees of Rs 33.5 billion until June 2013.
It further agreed to the borrowing by PIA of Rs 13.50 billion from the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) against a letter of comfort to be subsequently replaced by the government's guarantees.
The approved measures for the PIA, would provide for fuel efficiency through fleet modernization, optimum fleet deployment on network, introduction of additional frequencies on high demand high yield routes, revenue enhancement and increase in market share, separation of the core airlines business activities from non-core (SBUs) and restructuring of PIA's liabilities to reduce financial cost.
(11 Mar. 13)
The Commanding Officer of the Airport Security Force (ASF) in Nawabshah, Tanweer Ahmed Khan, died after being struck by the propeller of an aircraft of PIA Training Academy, on 21 February 2013. Mr. Khan had travelled from Nawabshah to Sukkur in the same aircraft (a Cessna 172) together with the pilot (instructor), trainee pilot and another ASF official.
PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said the pilot turned off the engine and Mr Khan got off the aircraft, but on the tarmac he was hit in the arm by the rotating propeller. He started to bleed and died before reaching a hospital.
Another version of the storey in the press is: A Cessna 172 of PIA Academy was on training flight from Nawabshah to Sukker. At Nawabshah, the ASF Chief and His wife were also taken onboard. The aircraft landed at Sukker and Engine was still running when the ASF Cheif was allowed by Instructor to disembark. As he left the aircraft, his hand was accidently struck by the revolving propeller. Due to excessive bleeding he lost his life.
The Civil Aviation Authority has launched an investigation into the accident.
A PIA flight PK-735 from Karachi to Jeddah, returned to Karachi about 15 minutes after take-off, on 20 February 2013. A Boeing 747-300 with 465 passengers on-board, was bound for Jeddah when the crew received fire indication/alert for engine number 2, following which the pilot switched off the affected engine and returned to Karachi Airport and landed safely.
PIA and TAROM of Romania have agreed to reciprocate flights, starting April 2013.
Due to the incident on 11 February 2013, when PIA's Boeing 737-300 flying from Sialkot to Muscat, was damaged during landing at Muscat airport, PIA flights to Muscat, from Sialkot had been suspended.
The flight operations between Sialkot and Muscat were reinstated on 22 February 2013 with two flights per week. PIA has managed to re-route its existing flight operation from Karachi and Islamabad to Muscat, via Sialkot.
PIA has announced to re-introduce its service from Pakistan to Chicago (USA), via Barcelona (Spain), from 5 June 2013. It will be a once a week service, using Boeing 777.
(25 Feb. 13)
A PIA Boeing 737-300 (AP-BEH), from Sialkot to Muscat experienced some problem with its landing gear during landing at Muscat Airport, on 11 February 2013. The flight PK-259 with 107 passengers and crew aboard suffered a possible collapse of left-side main landing gear of the aircraft during landing. The incident resulted in substantial damage to engine, wing and main landing gear, due to which runway was blocked for a while. There are no reports of injuries to passengers or crew. PIA sent a relief aircraft to Muscat to carry passengers, PIA has also sent a team of Engineers to Muscat to assess the damage to the aircraft.
According to a newspaper advert in Pakistan, PIA has offered for sale two of its retired aircraft, a Boeing 747-Combi and a Boeing 737-340. PIA has invited sealed bids on "AS IS WHERE IS" basis. PIA acquired both of these aircraft as new.
The Boeing 747 was built in 1979 and was delivered to PIA in July of that year. It served PIA for 32 years before its retirement in 2011.
The Boeing 737 was built in 1985 and delivered to PIA in May of that year. It was retired in 2012, serving PIA and the air travellers in Pakistan for nearly 27 years.
(18 Feb. 13)
PIA has announced that it is planning to construct a total of three new aircraft maintenance hangars. Two of the three hangars will be constructed at Karachi Airport and third one at Lahore Airport.
A PIA aircraft was hit by a passenger boarding bridge at Karachi airport on 27 January 2013. The aircraft was being prepared for flight from Karachi to Islamabad, the aircraft was damaged in the accident. However the extent of damage or the aircraft was not revealed by PIA.
(4 Feb. 13)
A PIA flight PK-199, with 42 passengers on board, was ready to depart from Kandahar Airport, Afghanistan, for Quetta in Pakistan, when it was caught up in the rocket attack on Kandahar airport on 8 January 2013. The PIA ATR-42 plane was on the tarmac, ready for departure when the unknown assailants fired eight to ten rockets at the Kandahar airport. The passengers and the flight crew remained safe and there was no damage to the aircraft. The plane was grounded temporarily but resumed its journey with some delay.
(21 Jan. 13)
A PIA flight PK-208, from Kuwait to Lahore, made an emergency landing in the Iranian city of Kerman, on 4 January 2013. The Airbus A310 was carrying 180 people (passengers & Crew). The plane landed safely at the Kerman airport.
(7 Jan. 13)
A PIA flight PK-267 suffered a bird strike during landing approach to Karachi?s Jinnah International airport, on 26 December 2012. The Boeing 777-300ER from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Karachi suffered some engine damage as a result. However, the extent of the damage to the engine is not clear at this stage.
(31 Dec. 12)
A PIA Boeing 737 from Multan to Karachi, landed at Rahim Yar Khan's Sheikh Zayyed International airport, on 7 December 2012. The flight PK-743 with 115 passenger and crew on board, had to land at Rahim Yar Khan when one the aircraft?s engine developed a fault.
The PIA to start twice weekly flights between Quetta, Pakistan and Kandahar, Afghanistan, from 25 December 2012, possibly using ATR-42.
PIA will add eight Airbus aircraft into its fleet in 2013, with the first aircraft joining the operation in February next year. In total, five Airbus aircraft will be added during the first half of 2013, while remaining three aircraft will join the PIA fleet in the second half of 2013.
The PIA has not confirmed the exact type of the Airbus aircraft that have been ordered, nor the fact as to when these planes were ordered and which aircraft would these new planes replace.
PIA flight PK-3338 from Jeddah to Lahore made an emergency landing at Karachi airport on 18 November 2012. One of the engines of Boeing 747, with 503 passengers on board, developed a fault, the engine was shut down and the aircraft was diverted to Karachi where it made an emergency landing. All passengers and crew-members remained safe.
On 18 November 2012, PIA flight PK-787, made an emergency landing at Karachi airport after the engine no.2 suffered a problem. The Airbus A310 had taken off from Karachi for its flight to London via Lahore. However three minutes after take-off the engine no.2 developed a fault, which was then shut down. The aircraft returned to Karachi airport and made a safe landing.
PIA flight PK-212 (Airbus A310), from Dubai to Islamabad, had to abort take-off due to some technical problem, on 17 November 2012. All passengers and crew remained safe.
PIA flight PK-605, Islamabad to Gilgit, aborted take-off run on 16 November 2012. The ATR-42 with 48 passengers on board used emergency brakes on the runway before take-off. All passengers and crew members remained safe.
A PIA Boeing 777-240ER was hit by a cargo loading/unloading vehicle at Lahore airport, on 7 November 2012. The flight PK-758 arrived from London and was supposed to fly to Karachi. The aircraft suffered minor damage and was allowed to continue its journey to Karachi.
PIA flight PK-3413 from Karachi to Jeddah, suffered a bird strike on 5 November 2012, soon after take-off from Karachi. The Boeing 747 returned to Karachi and managed to land safely.
A PIA Boeing 737-300 from Sukker also landed at Nawabshah on 5 November 2012, due to a technical problem.
PIA flight PK-588 with 45 passengers, from Karachi to Bahawalpur, made a technical landing at Nawabshah on 5 November 2012. The ATR-42-500 experienced engine problem.
PIA, on 1 November 2012 opened bids for the Dry Lease of five narrow body and two wide body aircraft at its Head Office in Karachi. The bid opening meeting was also attended by representatives of union/associations of PIA, Transparency International Pakistan and Ministry of Defence as observers.
A PIA Boeing 737, suffered a bird strike whilst landing at Skardu airport on 31 October 2012. The pilot of the flight that was from Islamabad managed to land the plane safely.
A PIA aircraft suffered damage to an engine on 30 October 2012, after a catering van crashed into it at Karachi airport. The flight PK-3085 was being prepared to fly to Jeddah when the accident occurred.
A PIA Boeing 747 suffered burst tyres during landing at Lahore Airport, on 26 October 2012. The debris from the burst tyres also damaged the lower part of the fuselage of the aircraft. The flight PK-2422 was operating from Dammam, Saudi Arabia to Lahore.
The government has appointed Secretary Defence, Lieutenant General (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik, as the new Chairman of PIA, with immediate effect.
Captain Junaid Yunus who has been working as acting Managing Director has been appointed as the permanent MD of PIA, again with immediate effect.
The Economic Co-ordination Committee of the Federal Cabinet, last week approved the issuance of guarantee for fresh loan of Rs. 9.36 billion for PIA. The committee also extended the government guarantee on Sukuk Certificates on Rs. 6.80 billion, for two years.
A PIA Boeing 777 aircraft suffered damage at Lahore airport when a catering van accidently hit the plane. The aircraft was being prepared for flight PK-709, from Lahore to Manchester, UK, on 24 October 2012 when the accident occurred. Due to the damage caused to the aircraft, the flight to Manchester was delayed whilst PIA found a replacement aircraft.
We reported previously that PIA is to stop its flights to two European cities as of 27 October 2012. However, PIA has stated that it is not stopping flights to any of the European destinations.
PIA conducted a test flight to Swat's Saidu Sharif airport on 10 October 2012. PIA will re-commence flights to Swat from Islamabad on 28 October 2012, after a gap of five years, the frequency will initially be twice a week. The flights were stopped in June 2007 following advance in the area by Taliban, the Pak Army successfully pushed out the militants from the area and therefore, aerial communications are being re-established. The Saidu Sharif airport which was established in 1978, suffered damage during the fight to drive out the militants, has now been repaired/restored.
A PIA flight PK-211 made a technical landing at Karachi airport on 29 September 2012, due to an engine problem. The aircraft was en-route from Islamabad to Dubai.
As note in the last week?s report, flight PK-211 had to abort take-off run at Islamabad airport on 20 September 2012.
PIA is to stop its flights to two European cities as of 27 October 2012. The first is the once a week flight from Islamabad to Frankfurt via Amsterdam and the second, also once a week, departs from Lahore for Frankfurt via Amsterdam. Low passenger load is cited as reason for the termination of these two flights.
A PIA Boeing 777 en-route from Islamabad to Karachi, suffered a bird strike to its engine no.1, during landing at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport, on 24 September 2012. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi.
A PIA flight PK-240 made a technical landing at Karachi airport on 22 September 2012, due to hydraulic problem. The flight was en-route from Kuwait to Islamabad via Sialkot, it landed safely at Karachi's Jinnah International airport.
A PIA flight PK-211 had to abort its take-off run at Islamabad airport on 20 September 2012. The aircraft with 170 passengers on-board was en-route from Islamabad to Dubai.
The US government imposed a fine of $150,000 on PIA, on 19 September 2012. The fine is the first to be imposed on an international carrier in the USA, for keeping passengers aboard a plane during an extended ground delay. The US Department of Transport stated that the airline violated its time limit for overseas flights held on the tarmac for weather, mechanical or other problems. They must give passengers a chance to exit the aircraft after four hours in most cases.
PIA Flight 711 was travelling from Manchester, UK to New York's John F. Kennedy airport, when it was diverted to Washington's Dulles airport on 29 October 2012, due to inoperable instrument landing equipment in New York, which had been hit by a surprise snowstorm.The plane sat on the tarmac for nearly five hours, according to transportation officials, who alleged PIA made no effort to let passengers off or ask airport officials for help.The captain and first officer got off the plane and inspected the aircraft, but passengers were not given the opportunity to leave because the airline thought the bad weather was too risky for them to exit via stairs. A consumer protection regulation established in 2010, under pressure from consumer advocates and Congress, requires domestic airlines to give passengers a chance to deplane if a ground delay exceeds three hours. The rule was extended last year for international flights, imposing a four-hour limit. The exceptions being, for security or safety reasons only.
The Chairman and Managing Director of Pakistan International Airlines, Air Chief Marshall (Retd) Rao Qamar Suleman tendered his resignation on 18 September 2012. He tendered his resignation on health grounds. Rao Qamar Suleman was appointed as Managing Director in March this year soon after his retirement as the head of Pakistan Air Force.
(24 Sept. 12)
A PIA flight PK-390 from Lahore to Islamabad suffered a bird strike on 14 September 2012, while landing at Islamabad airport. The Boeing 737 managed to land safely but the return flight of the aircraft was cancelled.
It is pertinent mentioning here, that PIA has suffered 46 bird strikes to its aircrafts so far this year, resulting in millions of rupees damage to aircraft, disruption to numerous domestic and international flights and as result losing millions of rupees of revenue.
A PIA flight PK-307 from Lahore to Karachi suffered a bird strike/ingestion on 13 September 2012 at Karachi airport. The Airbus A310 managed to land safely but the return flight of the aircraft was cancelled.
A PIA flight PK-747 from Islamabad to Madinah in Saudi Arabia, made a technical Landing at Karachi airport on 12 September 2012. The Airbus A310-300 with 187 passengers on-board, suffered from hydraulic problem but managed to land safely at Karachi airport. The passengers resumed their journey on another of PIA's aircraft.
A PIA flight PK 369 from Islamabad to Karachi, had to make a technical landing at Lahore airport on 9 September 2012. The Boeing 737-340 aircraft with 118 passengers, developed a crack to a cockpit window during the flight.
PIA flight PK 305 from Lahore to Karachi, received a hoax bomb threat on 5 September 2012, as it was being prepared to leave Lahore airport. All the passengers were off-loaded and the aircraft was searched by the security forces. The aircraft left for its destination over five hours late after getting the all clear from the bomb disposal squad. The incident resulted in delay and disruption to a number of other domestic and international flights.
A PIA flight PK 240 from Kuwait to Lahore, on 31 August 2012, had to make an emergency landing at Quetta, after developing a fault. All 196 passengers and crew members were evacuated safely from the aircraft.
On 31 August 2012, an ATR-42 of PIA, carrying 42 passengers and four crew members, from Islamabad to Lahore, skidded off the runway while landing at Lahore airport, due to heavy rain. Ten passengers suffered minor injuries. The plane suffered damage to the landing gear and its tyres. The main runway of Lahore airport remained shut for 29 hours due to the incident, disrupting all domestic and international flights.
In a meeting of its Board of Directors in August 2012, PIA has increased the retirement age of its pilots by five years, from the current 60 to 65.
The Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) of Europe has inspected 25 flights of PIA to Europe between May and August this year and found only two minor objections. The PIA officials say the SAFA report reflects improvement in PIA's operations.
Previously, PIA has seen SAFA penalties on a number of occasions. In January this year a flight (PK-734 Paris to Lahore) was denied permission to leave as it had a seal defect. The aircraft remained stranded at Paris for two days. Similarly in August last year, a PIA Airbus bound for Lahore was stopped at Paris due to fuel leakage and 39 safety lapses and defects. The aircraft was released after nine days.
In mid-August this year, an advertisement appeared in a newspaper in Pakistan, offering PIA's retired Boeing 747-240B Combi (ex-AP-BAT) for sale, on "as is where is" basis. The Boeing 747, since its withdrawal from service in year 2008, has been sitting at Karachi Airport.
In a meeting held on 1 August 2012, the government of Pakistan has approved the request from PIA?s new management, for the provision of $4.5 million for acquiring aircraft on dry lease, (it is pertinent to note that PIA has decided to dry lease nine Boeing aircrafts in order to improve its efficiency and conduct Hajj operations in 2012). The government also assured the new management that it would favourably consider the conversion of Rs. 8 billion loan by the federal government into equity. Furthermore, in order to ease the financial situation of PIAC, the federal government has directed the Finance Ministry to work out a plan for the re-scheduling of Rs.147 billion owed to different banks by PIAC.
PIA has decided to carry Hajjis from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka this year, enabling them to perform Hajj.
A PIA flight PK-320 from Quetta to Lahore suffered a bird strike/ingestion on 29 July 2012. The aircraft landed safely at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International airport.
A PIA plane, flight PK-749, from Islamabad to Paris via Milan, was hit by a forklift truck at Milan airport on 14 July 2012. The incident took place during loading/unloading of baggage/cargo at Milan airport. After which the plane was grounded and the 169 passengers travelling to Paris were shifted to hotel.
During a recent session of the lower house of the Parliament, the defence minister informed the house that out of the total of 12,148 flights operated by PIA during the first quarter of this year, 4,345 suffered delays, which is about 36 percent of the total. The minister also stated that the punctuality of the flights by PIA was around 64 percent for the same quarter.
A PIA Boeing 747-367 (registration AP-BFU) en-route from Karachi to Lahore, suffered a bird strike to its engine no.2, during landing at Lahore's Allam Iqbal International Airport, on 5 July 2012. The crew managed to land the aircraft safely but the return scheduled flight of the aircraft was cancelled that day. However it was flown back to Karachi the next day for repairs to the engine.
(9 July 12)
The PIA chief Rao Qamar Suleman revealed on 21 June that PIA would lease six new planes within four months. These would include two Boeing 777s and four Boeing 737-800s.
However, he didn't make clear if these aircrafts are in addition to the ten aircrafts for which an advertisement appeared in the local newspaper in Pakistan on 16 June. The advert was for lease of ten aircrafts by September this year, comprising of 2 Boeing 777s, four Boeing 737-400s and four Boeing 737-800s.
(27 June 12)
A PIA Airbus A310-300 (Flight PK-211), travelling from Islamabad to Dubai on 9 June 2011, returned to Islamabad about 50 minutes after take-off due to smell of smoke. The electronic malfunction alerted the crew, who returned to Islamabad and made a safe landing.
The CAA of Pakistan has recently released the report of the investigation into PIA's Fokker F-27 crash on 10 July 2006, in which 41 passengers and four crew members lost their lives. The report outlines the causes of the accident to be poor maintenance/overhaul of the right engine by PIA maintenance personnel, resulting in engine failure, together with poor airmanship displayed by both of the PIA pilots who failed to control the situation. It also blames the CAA Airworthiness for lack of regulating and monitoring the quality control system at PIA's Engineering.
The full report can be view at the CAA's website.
A near-miss incident between two PIA planes took place on 10 may 2012. An ATR-42-500 (flight PK-550) had taken-off from Karachi, bound for Multan, it was flying at 14,000 feet. Shortly afterwards a Boeing 747-367 (flight PK-306) also took off from Karachi for Lahore. It appears that the Boeing 747, due to its suprior airspeed, caught up with the slower ATR-42. Because the two aircraft had reached a vertical separation of less than 1000 feet, the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) installed in both aircraft, warned the pilots and the ATR-42 climbed to avoid the Boeing 747.
(11 June 12)
PIA flight PK 203 bound for Dubai, received a bomb threat, as it was preparing for the flight at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport on 17 May 2012. The Airbus A310, with 157 passengers and 10 crew members, was preparing for take-off when the threat was received. The plane had to be evacuated and searched. The bomb threat turned out to be hoax, after the clearance from the security forces, the Airbus resumed its journey after a delay of four hours.
(17 May 2012)
A PIA flight PK-586 which took off from Karachi for Bahawalpur on 27 April 2012, was diverted back to Karachi after a passenger threatened to hijack the plane. The ATR-42 plane had just taken off from Karachi when a disgruntled passenger told one of the cabin crew that he could hijack the plane. The cabin crew informed the captain, who diverted the plane back to Karachi, where the plane was directed to a remote area of the airport. The person who threatened the plane was taken into custody and the remaining passengers disembarked safely. The plane was searched and was found to be safe to resume its journey.
(2 May 12)
The United Kingdom Police have asked the PIA management to stop its crewmembers from stealing goods from the hotels and shops during their stay in Manchester, UK. It is alleged that the retailers and hoteliers had been voicing concerns over the conduct of PIA crew. The goods stolen from hotels included gowns, towels, kettles and glasses etc. As the request to PIA management was made by the Greater Manchester Police, it is not certain whether the PIA crews staying in other cities of UK conduct themselves in a better manner or not.
Former chief of Pakistan Air Force Rao Qamar Suleman, who retired on 18 March 2012 as the Chief of PAF, has been appointed Managing Director (MD) of Pakistan International Airlines. He took charge on 29 March 2012, he replaces Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Zai.
Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Zai has been appointed as DG Civil Aviation Authority. It is worth noting that Mr. Yousaf Zai is also an active pilot with PIA, therefore, it would be interesting to see how the clash of interests is avoided if he continues to fly as a pilot with PIA and also heads the CAA. Considering that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) is already concerned about the clash of interest between the officers of PIA, also working for the CAA. Mr. Yousaf Zai has been in-charge of PIA for a year. He has headed CAA previously whilst still actively working for PIA.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended PIA's "maintenance organisation approval", for its failure to meet the required standards. The EASA is unhappy about the appointment of the maintenance management team without notifying EASA.
The EASA has also expressed concerns about the Category 3 maintenance checks & repairs carried out by PIA. All this could lead to PIA being suspended from the European airspace again, as happened in 2007.
The PIA and Airbus signed an agreement on 17 February 2012, for the transfer of ownership of six A310 aircraft. The aircraft which are already in PIA's fleet were leased in 2004. It is anticipated that the transfer of ownership will save $2.0 million per month for the PIA.
The PIA signed an agreement worth $1.50 billion, on 14 February 2012, to purchase five Boeing 777-340ER aircraft, with option on further five. The first aircraft will be delivered in March 2015 and the delivery of all five aircraft will be completed by November 2015. The MOU for the purchase of the aircraft was signed in November 2011 during the Dubai Air show. PIA already operates nine Boeing 777s.
On 20 October 2011, a PIA Boeing 747 (flight PK 3539) with 493 passengers and 15 crew on-board, was forced to abort take-off when fumes engulfed the cabin. The aircraft carrying mostly pilgrims, from Multan airport bound for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, taxied towards the runway despite concerns from the passengers. A passenger stated that "When we boarded the plane, we felt a strange smell and smoke inside, we complained to the crew but they ignored it and told us it was because of roasted meals, the plane went for take-off but stopped minutes later when passengers protested strongly and there was chaos."
A PIA spokesman stated that "the hydraulic system of the plane failed just before take-off and its fumes came inside the cabin. We off-loaded the passengers and sent them on another plane."
A Boeing-737 aeroplane belonging to PIA, (flight PK-369, from Islamabad to Karachi) made an emergency landing at Multan Airport on 27 September 2011, due to technical fault.
The PIA Training Centre (PTC) has now become International Air Transport Association (IATA) authorised training centre. The first IATA authorised training centre in South Asia.
It now offers IATA certified courses in Airline Marketing, Finance, Marketing Management, Ground operations, Cargo, Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and Airline Cabin Crew training courses etc.
PIA earned Rs.107.53 revenue in the financial year 2010, which is an increase of 13.7 percent over the previous year.
The gross profit for the financial year 2010 was Rs.14.97 billion and the net profit from operations was Rs.720million, this is compared to net loss from operations of Rs. 3.19billion in the previous year.
PIA resumed its flight operation to Colombo, Sri Lanka, after a gap of three and half years. PIA will operate three flights per week between Karachi and Colombo, whilst Air Lanka will operate four flights per week on the same route, making it a daily frequency between Karachi and Colombo.
The MD of PIA had to resign recently due to the protests by the unions over PIA's Joint Venture Commercial Agreement (JVCA) with the Turkish Airlines.
PIA signed a Joint Venture Commercial Agreement (JVCA) with the Turkish Airlines on 29 December 2010. On implementation of the JVCA, PIA will suspend its flights to New York and Chicago, in the USA, Barcelona in Spain, Amsterdam in Netherland, Frankfurt in Germany and Italy. Instead there will be daily flights from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore to Istanbul for onward international travel on the Turkish Airlines. The JVCA is subject to the approval of the relevant Anti-Trust Immunity (ATI) and other regulatory authorities of both countries.
As of 15 January 2011, PIA will start twice weekly flight from Karachi and Quetta to Zahedan, Iran.
As of 6 January 2011, PIA will start direct flights from Sialkot to Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
PIA has started a flight academy to train its own pilots. The academy will be based at Benazirabad, Sindh, and it will be operational as soon as the maintenance hanger is completed, until such time, the flying operations will be undertaken from Karachi. The academy will have simulators and actual aircrafts for training purposes. To this end PIA has acquired two Cessna 172 aircrafts from Pakistan Air Force and is acquiring further two Cessna 172s from the same source.
As of 5 November 2010, PIA has started once a week, Peshawar to London via Karachi, flight.
On 25 September 2010, a Boeing 777 belonging to PIA, with 255 passengers and 18 crew on-board, departed from Toronto, Canada for Karachi, Pakistan, via Manchester, UK. The plane was diverted to Sweden, after the Canadian police had received a call from a woman that a man on-board the plane had explosives.
The plane landed safely at Arlanda airport, Sweden and a 30 year old Canadian man of Pakistani origin was detained by the Swedish police. No explosives were found on the aeroplane or the man. The aircraft and all its passengers and crew, except the man who allegedly had explosives on him, left for Karachi after the aeroplane had been given an all clear. The man in question was released a couple of days later. It has been reported that the girlfriend of the man held, had called the police and stated that he had explosives on him, as she was unhappy about him going to Pakistan to get married.
PIA signed an agreement with United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on 25 August 2010, by which the USTDA has granted $864,000 to PIA to conduct a feasibility study to establish a Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility in Pakistan.
The South Asian and Middle Eastern MRO market is expected to grow to $9.0 billion. If PIA is successful in establishing an MRO facility in Pakistan, it has a $100 million revenue potential and may create up to 5,000 jobs.
Following the crash on 28 July 2010, of the Airbus A321 belonging to Air blue, PIA aeroplanes had three mishaps, details are as follows:
On 29 July 2010, PIA flight PK-252 with 107 passengers on board took off from Kabul, bound for Islamabad. It appears that a hard object struck the windscreen of Boeing 737 causing a crack to the outer windshield. However, the aircraft continued its flight to Islamabad, but was unable to land at Islamabad due to bad weather, the flight was diverted to Lahore, where it landed safely.
On 2 August 2010, a PIA flight PK-308, bound for Islamabad from Karachi, made an emergency landing 15 minutes after take-off, due to vibration in one of the engines. A Boeing 747 Jumbo jet with more than 215 passengers on-board, landed back at Karachi airport. None of the crew or passengers was hurt.
It is suspected that it was the same aircraft that suffered a bird strike, in addition to one of its engines malfunctioned a few days earlier.
On 7 August 2010, a PIA flight PK-301 with 400 passengers on-board, travelling from Islamabad for Karachi, burst all of its tyres as it touched down at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport. One of the private TV channels reported that the cabin was filled with smoke, possibly from the tyres. There were no reports of any injuries to passengers or crew.
PIA started a new Karachi/Lahore/Barcelona/Chicago service on 2 June 2010, using Boeing 777 aircrafts. PIA now has 5 weekly flights to USA.
PIA launched its 3rd weekly flight between Sialkot and Muscat on 24 May 2010.
After four years of loss making, PIA achieved operating profit of Rs.2.84 billion for the year 2009, this compared to operating loss of Rs.7.3 billion for the year before.
PIAs revenue increased by 6.4 percent and the yield increased by 7 percent. The excess revenue target of Rs.1 billion was surpassed by Rs.45 million.
PIA started once a week Lahore/Islamabad to Kuala Lumpur flight as of 31 March 2010. This is in addition to twice weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur from Karachi.
PIA has also started direct flights to Jeddah from Sialkot as of 3 April 2010, this is in addition to a weekly Sialkot to London (via Karachi) flight which started operations on 4 April 2010.
As of 1 April 2010, PIA has added a third weekly flight to Oslo/Copenhagen schedule.
PIA recently completed a Flight Operations course for the staff of Ariana Afghan Airways, the course which started on 29 December 2009, normally has duration of 24 week but on the request of Ariana Afghan Airways, it was completed in 12 weeks without compromising its standard.
PIA has signed MoU with Afghanistan for conducting various courses. PIA has previously conducted three other courses for the Afghan Airways but the Flight Operations course was held for the first time.
As of 18 February 2010, Pakistan International Airlines has started twice weekly flights from Sialkot to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
PIA is to start Sialkot-Karachi-London flights in the near future.
On completion of successful Hajj operations, Pakistan International Airlines has been awarded a shield by the Civil Aviation Authority of Saudi Arabia, in recognition of the distinguished passenger service, compared to other airlines conducting Hajj operations at Jeddah Airport. The shield was awarded for the swift check-in of passengers, transfer of passengers luggage and efficient passenger handling at Jeddah Airport by PIA staff.
(17 Jan. 10)
On 20 December 2009, PIA's flight PK 701 from Islamabad to Manchester was diverted to Moscow airport due to fuel pump warning. The aircraft, an Airbus 310-300, with 189 passengers and 12crew, landed safely at Moscow, however there was a delay of nearly 31 hours before a replacement aircraft was provided taking passengers to their final destination. It is believed that the passengers at Moscow were not treated very well and basic requirement like clean drinking water was very scarce.
(03 Jan. 10)
PIA recently inaugurated the test facility for the PW127 engines installed on its fleet of ATR-42 aircraft, saving millions of dollars in foreign exchange. The test facility also has the capability to test auxiliary power units installed on Boeing 777s and Airbus A310 aircraft.
It is worth mentioning here that PIA already has capability for testing CF6-50, CF6-80 and CFM56-3 engines which are installed on Boeing 747-200, Airbus A310-300 and Boeing 737-300 in PIAs fleet. It also has full engine overhaul capability for CF6-50 and CF6-80 engines.
Furthermore, PIA has embarked on a project to establish a facility to overhaul Landing Gears, which should be ready by December 2010.
As of 29 July 09, PIA will start a weekly service from Sialkot to Dubai.
Whilst it is good news for the travellers from Sialkot, however it is surprising following PIAs admission in Lahore High Court that its internal flights are suffering delays due to lack of aircrafts.
(26 July 09)
From 1 July 2009, PIA will start international flights from Bahawalpur airport to Dubai with the frequency of three flights per week.
(28 June 09)
On 30 May 2009, one of PIAs ATR 42 aeroplane suffered heavy landing at Lahore airport. The aircraft was on a schedule flight from Multan to Lahore, when on landing at Lahore, the aircraft appear to have skidded off the runway. None of the crew of 4 and 43 passengers sustained any injuries. The nose, left undercarriage and the fuselage of the aircraft has been heavily damaged.
An inquiry to determine the cause of heavy landing has been ordered.
(13 June 09)
As of 2 April 2009, PIA started a weekly Lahore Dubai - Stanstead (London,UK) flight, PIA has also started a weekly Islamabad Dubai Stansted (London, UK) flight from 3 April 2009.
(5 Apr. 09)
As of 27 October 2008, PIA started a weekly Sialkot-Abu Dhabi flight, PIA also started Sialkot-Muscat flights from 29 October 2008, again this is one flight per week. Thus PIA now operates flights to three international destinations from Sialkot. The third destination being Kuwait, flights for which were started in February this year.
Furthermore, PIA started Islamabad to Peshawar flights via Dera Ismail Khan, on 27 October 2008.
(14 Dec. 08)
One of PIAs Boeing 777 suffered substantial hail damage on its approach to Italy's Milan airport on 2 July 2008. No one on board suffered any injuries and the plane made a safe landing.
(5 Oct. 08)
As a direct result of escalating fuel prices on the world market, PIA has increased its fares on various International routes.
PIA started twice weekly flights from Islamabad to Leeds/ Bradford airport (UK), as of 2 July 2008.
(19 July 08)
PIA has announced increase in domestic fares to be effective from16 June 2008. One way domestic fares to be increased by Rs. 600, whilst return fares to be increased by Rs. 1000.
(22 June 08)
The new Government has appointed Captain Ejaz Haroon as the new Managing Director of in placing of Aslam R Khan. The new Government has also appointed Defence Minister Mukhtar Ahmed as the new Chairman of PIA.
(11 May 08)
PIA has invited tenders for the disposal of its fleet of Boeing 747s which were grounded in March 2008 due high fuel costs.PIA was operating six Boeing 747-367s and two Boeing 7474-240 combi aircrafts.
(14 Apr. 08)
On 24 March 2008, PIAs flight PK 759 from Lahore to Jeddah was diverted to Karachi after a bomb threat. A security check was carried out at Karachi and after getting the all clear, the aircraft resumed its scheduled flight.
As of 19 March 2008, PIA has grounded its entire fleet of jumbo jets, citing high fuel cost as the reason. PIA was operating six Boeing 747-367s and two Boeing 7474-240 combi aircrafts.
PIA has also laid-off 80 flight engineers.
(30 Mar. 08)
Swissport International announced on 22 February 2008, to terminate its Technical Services Agreement with PIA with immediate effect. PIA will manage the service with its ownresouce and workforce. Swissport has been responsible for providing the ground service to PIA since October 2006.
(24 Feb. 08)
PIA would start direct flights from Sialkot to Kuwait from 15 February 2008.
PIA has also increased its Karachi-Sialkot frequency from two to three per week.
(10 Feb. 08)
PIA has offered for wet lease from February till August 2008, one of its Boeing 747-300 with 433 seats.
PIA has tendered to acquire a Boeing 777 simulator.
(16 Dec. 07)
At the end of October 2007, PIA reduced its fare on the Beijing sector by 27%.
PIA Engineers who had been on strike demanding higher wages, ended their strike on Friday 3 November 2007. The strike had resulted in grounding most of PIAs fleet with dozens of flights being cancelled.
PIA would start its scheduled flights from Karachi to the new Sialkot airport on 30 November 2007. Furthermore, PIA intends to start international flights from Sialkot in 2008.
(18 Nov. 07)
In order to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing 737 -300 aircrafts, PIA has signed a letter of Intent for the lease of seven new Airbus A320-200, from Aviation Lease and Finance Company of Kuwait, all seven aircrafts will be delivered in 2009. The Boeing 737-300 in the PIAs fleet are over 20 years old, replacing those with new aircrafts will result in the average age of the fleet of 10 years. PIA recently replaced its fleet of old Fokker F-27s with new ATR42-500s as well as acquiring eight new Boeing 777s.
(17 August 07)
PIA has been declared to achieve the best track keeping performance record for the year 2006, by Birmingham International Airport Authority. PIA has attributed this achievement to its pilots of Airbus A-310, whose professionalism made this achievement possible.
(3 August 07)
PIAs Islamabad bound aircraft with 433 passengers on-board made an emergency landing at Jeddah Airport on 9 July 2007. The flight had just taken off when the fire alarm for one of the engines sounded, there were no injuries to passenger or crew, however, due to the emergency landing all 16 tyres of the aircraft deflated.
(20 July 07)
Some good news for PIA after all; The European Union has announced to relax its restrictions imposed on some of PIAs fleet due to safety concerns. It is believed that EU has allowed five of the eight Boeing 747s and six of the 12 Airbus A310s, to now fly to the EU countries.
(7 July 07)
PIA has sold its three grounded Fokker F-27s to Pakistan Navy for $1.2 million. Pak Navy intends to use the aircrafts as spares for its fleet of five F-27s.
As of 1 June 2007, PIA has increased its fares on all domestic routes by 10%.
PIA has signed a $522 million financing arrangement with ABN Ambro to fund the purchase of three Boeing 777-300 ER aircrafts.
The National Accountability Bureau has filed a reference regarding the alleged corruption in the purchase of Boeing 747 aircrafts from Cathy Pacific.
PIA has started Islamabad - Chitral flights, with the first flight landing in Chitral on 26 May 2007.
(8 June 07)
A PIAs Boeing 737 with 80 passengers on-board was stranded at New Delhi airport on 19 May 2007, due to the faulty brakes. The aircraft was ready to embark on its scheduled journey to Lahore, when the brakes of the aeroplane jammed.
On 16 May 2007, One of PIAs Airbus A-310 with 180 passengers on board had to abort take off at Islamabad Airport. The Birmingham (UK) bound flight was taxiing when the pilot noticed that one of the engines was not providing the required power, emergency brakes were applied which resulted in deflation of eight of the tyres. Emergency services rushed to the scene but there were no reports of any injuries. The passengers were taken back to the lounge and a replacement aircraft was arranged to take them to their destination. The runway was re-opened after four and a half hours.
Fifteen domestic and eight International flights were affected due to the incident.
(25 May 07)
Further to the misfortunes reported on 25 April 2007, there are a few more items to report on the same theme: An ATR 42, suffered damage to its skin, landing gear and one of the doors following a collision with a vehicle on 3 May 2007 at Jinnah Airport, Karachi. The aircraft was commissioned into PIA fleet only on 6 April 2007.
A collision between two Boeing-777s occurred on 14 April 2007, at Jinnah Airport, Karachi. The tail of one aircraft clipped the tail cone of the other when being towed prior to flight.
An Airbus belonging to PIA was hit by a cargo loading vehicle at Jinnah Airport, Karachi.
There was a near miss on 12 April 2007, when one of PIAs aircraft was being pushed back and another was taxiing. The two narrowly avoided collision, again at Jinnah Airport, Karachi.
It is worth mentioning that last year PIA outsourced the ground handling in order to improve quality.
Pakakhbar comments: PIA and the management of Jinnah Airport Karachi, need to review their systems to avoid minor accidents which result in huge costs in both repairs and passenger revenues. It also causes flight delays and inconvenience to passengers and tarnishes the reputation of the national carrier.
There was a slight good news for PIA in that a Boeing 777-240 was delivered on 10 March 2007.
(11 May 07)
The misfortunes of the national carrier seem to continue, a number of its domestic & international flight suffered delays.
On 24 April, PIA's flight from Karachi to Dubai suffered an engine malfunction when the aircraft was 180 km from Dubai, however, the pilot of the Airbus A-310 with 101 passengers on-board managed to land the plane safely.
The Government of Pakistan has appointed the new chairman and CEO of PIA, he is named as Zafar A Khan. Mr. Z. A. Khan took charge of his new post in April 2007.
(25 April 07)
The Chairman and CEO of PIA Tariq Kirmani has resigned, his resignation has been accepted by the government but he has been asked to continue in his post until a successor has been appointed.
(6 April 07)
Following the European Union ban PIA has revised its flight schedule to Europe and North America from 15 March 2007. However PIAs problems are not going away, as its engineering department went on strike in the third week of March 2007, although the strike has now finished with resolution of most of the problems, it had meant delays and disruptions to PIA flights.
PIA has started direct flights from Lahore to Bahrain.
PIA has now received four of the seven ATR 42-500 it had ordered.
(24 March 07)
The European Union has banned the older aircrafts such as Boeing 747 and Airbus A310 of PIA from its airspace on safety grounds. This leaves PIA with only the Boeing 777s which it can fly to the EU countries. EU stated that it had warned PIA regarding maintenance problems and the age of its fleet.
The view of PIA is that its aircrafts are maintained at PIAs workshop which has the EU safety certificate to undertake such maintenance. PIA is adhering to EUs safety standards in the maintenance of its aircrafts, so is the EU saying that its awards of safety certificates to the workshop are not up to the required standards.
PIA received the second Boeing 777-300ER in February 2007.
(12 March 07)
PIA has leased two Airbus A321s.
(23 Feb. 07)
By the end of this month, PIA hopes to commence weekly direct flight from Islamabad to Beijing.
PIA already operates two flights a week on Karachi-Islamabad-Beijing-Tokyo route.
(9 Feb. 07)
The Frankfurt Airport Authority in Germany awarded the first prize to PIA, for the biggest increase in volume of cargo in 2006. Emirates, was second and LTU (a German group) came third.
(4 Jan. 07)
The first of three Boeing 777-300ER was delivered to PIA on 22 December 2006. PIA ordered a total of eight Boeing 777s, which included 200ER, 200LR & 300ER versions. The 200ER and LRs have been delivered, leaving two further 300LRs to be delivered.
The second of seven ATR42-500 aircraft has been delivered to PIA, which started commercial operations in December 2006 on the Northern route, replacing the C-130 of Pakistan Air Force. The C-130 was a temporary arrangement until the delivery of ATR 42. The remainder five of the ATRs are due for delivery between January and May 2007.
(22 Dec. 06)
PIAs has refurbished its Boeing 747-300 and the European Unions Safety body has cleared it for landing into Europe. Therefore, this particular Boeing 747-300 has resumed its flights to UK and Europe. PIA is now working on its fleet of Boeing 747-200s to allay European Unions concerns, and hope to have these aircrafts ready very soon.
On 20 November 2006, PIAs flight PK-308 from Karachi to Islamabad (direct), hit an air turbulence over Lahore, the flight had 190 passengers and crew on board. Due to the air turbulence the plane had to descend 1,000 feet very quickly, causing minor injuries to some of the passengers and crew.
(24 Nov. 06)
PIA has started a weekly service from Peshawar to Stansted, London via Karachi, thus connecting Peshawar with Europe. The first flight PK-773 left Peshawar on 2 September 2006. In addition, PIA has also started a weekly service from Karachi to Stansted. PIA is the first Asian Airline (Excluding Turkey) to start scheduled service to Stansted.
(10 Sept. 06)
Due to air accident of 10 July 2006 involving a Fokker F-27 and the subsequent grounding of F-27s for passenger flights (refer to the section Pak Civil Aviation General.), PIA has introduced Boeing 737 on Lahore to Bahawalpur route with two flights per week.
(20 August 06)
The first of seven new ATR 42-500 aircraft was delivered to PIA at the end of May 2006, it was inducted into service in June on Karachi- Gawadar- Muscat route. The ATR 42 will be replacing Fokker F 27s which have served PIA and the people of Pakistan for more than four decades.
PIA will also be acquiring two ATR 72s.
The second Boeing 777-200LR, which should have been delivered in February this year, finally arrived in Islamabad from New York on 24 March 2006. This brings the total number of Boeing 777s currently in PIAs fleet to five. PIA is purchasing a total of eight Boeing 777s at a cost of $1.2 billion and intends to lease a further four.
PIA has closed down to routes to Nairobi, Urumchi, Frankfurt and Istanbul. These routes were announced with fanfare a while but have been closed quietly.
For details of increase in PIAs fares and PIAs newly acquired expertise of repairs to
Boeing 737 refer to the section "Pak Civil Aviation General."
(1 July 06)
The second Boeing 777-200LR, which should have been delivered in February this year, finally arrived in Islamabad from New York on 24 March 2006. This brings the total number of Boeing 777s currently in PIA’s fleet to five. PIA is purchasing a total of eight Boeing 777s at a cost of $1.2 billion and intends to lease a further four.
A London bound Boeing 747 belonging to PIA suffered damage to its no.4 engine, as it was taxing for take off at Islamabad Airport. A Shaheen Airport Service coached rammed into it in heavy rain. There were 113 passengers on board the aircraft and the coach was returning after dropping passengers off for another plane. None of the passengers or the coach driver suffered any injuries. The passengers were moved to another plane which took off 3.5 hours later. It is believed the coach driver was unable to judge the distance between the plane and his vehicle due to the poor visibility caused by heavy rain. An investigation of the accident which took place on 12 March 2006, has started.
(25 March. 06)
PIA and Turkish Airlines will start two return flights a week from Islamabad to Istanbul and onto Frankfurt. The flights will be operated under the codeshare agreement from 30 March 2006. As part of the agreement, PIA will operate the flights and Turkish Airlines will have 50 seats with its own flight numbers as marketing carrier. This is similar to the four flights per week already operated by the Turkish Airlines from Karachi to Istanbul and back, where PIA has 24 seats with its own flight numbers as marketing carrier.
In addition to the aircrafts ordered i.e. eight Boeing 777s and seven ATR 42-500s, PIA will lease a further 10 aircrafts to enhance its fleet. The proposed 10 aircraft would comprise of four Boeing 777s, three 70 – seat turbo-props and three Airbus A-310 freighters.
PIA is also planning to replace its fleet of Boeing 737s in 2010 and the Airbus A310 from 2011.
PIA’s received the delivery of fourth Boeing 777 (and the first of Boeing 777-200LR) on 29 February 2006, the aircraft was due for delivery in January 2006. PIA’s inducted the aircraft into its fleet and commenced its maiden flight on 3 March 2006, on a 14 hour non-stop journey from Islamabad to Toronto. The second Boeing 777-200LR was due for delivery in February 2006 but it will now be delivered some time in March 2006.
After nearly five years of suspension, PIA on 4 March 2006, has restored Karachi – Dalbandin flights using Fokker F-27s. This service would greatly help the foreign engineers working on mega projects in the Chagai area of Blochistan
(15 March. 06)
PIA’s Engineering Department achieved another landmark on 15 February 2006, when one of PIA’s Boeing 777-200ER was rolled into the Isphani hangar, Karachi, for “Check C”, a major overhaul.
(26 Feb. 06)
As of 16 November 2005, PIA has commenced two flights per week to Glasgow,UK. One flight starts from Lahore and the other from Islamabad.
PIA has placed an order worth approximately $100 million with ATR for seven ATR42-500 turboprop aircrafts. The ATR 42-500 will replace the old Fokker F-27s which have served PIA and the people of Pakistan for over three decades. The ATR is a 48 seat aircraft with low noise cabin interior. The delivery of the aircrafts to PIA is scheduled to be between 2006 and 2007, the delivery of first aircraft is programmed for May 2006.
(20 Nov. 05)
PIA is inviting tenders for wet lease of four Boeing 747-200/300 and four Airbus A300-600/R or Airbus A310-300 or Boeing 767-200ER/300ER for the Hajj season. The lease is for the period December 2005 to February 2006.
Also, PIA is inviting tender for the dry lease, with option to purchase of one Boeing 777-200ER/300ER with General electric engines. The lease is for a period of 18 to 24 months commencing October 2005.
Furthermore, PIA is inviting tenders to wet lease three turbo propaircrafts of 48 to 50 seat capacity. The aircrafts should not be more than five years old, the lease to commence November 2005 and may be for one or two years. The aircrafts are to be used on domestic and regional routes.
(23 Sept. 05)
Due to the exercises being conducted by PAF (see under PAF) in which the airspace has been restricted in certain areas, PIA has suspended Fokker F-27s flights between 4 and12 September 2005. The flights affected are Peshawar - Lahore – Islamabad, Islamabad – Lahore – Islamabad, Islamabad – Dera Ghazi khan – Lahore – Islamabad and Islamabad – Bahawalpur – Lahore.
(10 Sept. 05)
PIA has been trying, for a while, to dispose of a Boeing 747-200 and an Airbus A300 – B4. It will now try to dispose of these aircrafts by public auction on 25 August 2005.
PIA has invited tenders for the wet lease of Airbus 330-200/300 or Airbus A300-600 together with one Airbus A320 or Boeing 737-800.
PIA has previously used Boeing 737-200s and Airbus A310. The introduction Boeing 737-800 or Airbus A320 will be new addition to the fleet
PIA has invited Expression of Interest for a new paint/maintenance hangar.
(22 August 05)
On 2nd August 2005, PIA started its first flight to Nairobi. This is PIA’s first flight to anywhere in Africa after several years gap.
As of 22 July PIA re-started flights from Islamabad to Swat using Fokker F-27. The flights which take 30 minutes were stopped in 2001 due to non-profitability, but have been resumed on the demand of the people of the area.
(5 August 05)
PIA and its Saudi partner have managed to resolve the dispute regarding the ownership of the three hotels. It has been agreed that PIA will now retain 100% ownership of the Roosevelt in New York and Scribe in Paris and will pay its Saudi partner $40 million.
PIA’s partner, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al saud, will retain the full ownership of the Minhal Holiday Inn, Riyadh.
(30 June 05)
In order to improve the interior of its older aircrafts, PIA has asked Boeing’s team of interior specialists to evaluate and recommend changes. The Boeing team has undertaken the evaluation and has made its recommendations.
As of 18 June 2005, PIA has re-commenced flights on the Gawadar-Muscat route.
(18 June 05)
PIA advertised in the Flight International magazine in March 2005, inviting bids to dispose of its 2xAirbus A-300s and 2xBoeing 747s.
On 1st March 2005, the undercarriage of a Canadian bound Boeing 777 belonging to PIA, burst into flames at Manchester Airport as the aircraft was taxiing to the terminal. All 333 passengers on-board escaped using emergency chutes, 33 passengers suffered minor injuries, although most were treated at the scene, seven were taken to two local hospitals.
The Toronto bound passengers were held in the transit lounge until a replacement aircraft was made available to take them to Canada.
This is the fifth incident involving PIA’s Boeing 777s in the last 11 months since PIA started to operate this type of aircraft, and it is the fourth incident at Manchester airport for PIA’s Boeing 777s.
The past incidents have been blamed on the maintenance fault whereby the Engineers used the wrong type of grease and too much of it during replacing wheel assemblies. After touch down the heat caused by hard breaking on landing seem to have caused the grease to catch fire.
PIA recently entered into a strategic alliance with Lufthansa Cargo AG. PIA’s first cargo flight (under the alliance) left Karachi for Frankfurt on 5 December 04.
PIA’s cargo business recorded a growth of 14% last year and 19% this year, resulting in RS 4.2 billion revenue earned last year and RS 5.3 billion this year.
(10 Dec. 04)
In September 04, PIA advertised in the “Flight International” to wet lease two Boeing 747s and an Airbus A300 for the Hajj flights.
(03 Oct. 04)
It was recently reported in the Parliament that since 2003, PIA had 11 cases of burst tyres or fire concerning its aircrafts.
Contrary to the previous reports, PIA has now decided on the Canadian built Bombardier de Havilland Dash 8Q-300 to replace its Fokker F-27s. It is believed the number of aircrafts involved is eight. Dash 8Q-300 made its first flight in May 1987.
In May this year, PIA placed an advertisement in the “Flight International” to buy/lease with purchase option for aircrafts of no more than 10 years old, to replace the Fokker F-27s.
(17 Sept. 04)
After several year’s break, PIA on 30 August, resumed flights to Moscow.
PIA will fly twice weekly to the Russian Capital. In its drive to expand its network, this is PIA’s 12th new Destination this year and 43rd in total. The other destinations for this year’s route expansion being Almaty, Colombo, Delhi, Dhaka, Fujaira, Huston, Kathmandu, Milan, Mumbai and Ras-ul- Khaima.
In June a Fokker aircraft overshot the runway whilst landing at Chitral airport, resulting in burst tyres and collaped undercarriage.There were no reports of injuries.
Due to the refusal of Oman CAA to extend waiver to PIA to operate Fokker aeroplanes, as of 1August 2004, PIA will suspend its operations on Gawadar-Muscat-Gawadar route. PIA will continue operating on Karachi-Muscat-Karachi route according to the demand.
Nepal has asked PIA for assistance in training of pilots and engineers for the Royal Nepal Airlines.
(30 July 04)
During 2003, PIA carried 1.8 million passengers in and out of Manchester, UK and it is now operating 29 flights a week, to and from Manchester. Manchester Airport is now PIA's biggest hub outside Pakistan.
(2 July 04)
In June a Fokker aircraft overshot the runway whilst landing at Chitral airport, resulting in burst tyres and collaped undercarriage.There were no reports of injuries.
In reply to a Parliamentary question, it was revealed that PIA sold its Fokker F-27s for US $0.4million dollar each.
As of 15 June 2004, PIA is introducing Cargo service to Europe, with four days a week service to London & Paris and once a week to Oslo.
In early may PIA placed an advert in the “flight International” to purchase/ lease (with option to purchase) seven turboprop aircrafts of less than 10 years old, with deliveries to commence in the last quarter of this year. These aircrafts would replace the fleet of ageing Fokker F-27s.
It is worth noting that in the past it was reported that PIA had made the decision to purchase ATR-42s to replace the F-27s.
In April 2004 PIA introduced, twice weekly Quetta-Gwadar-Turbat-Karachi flights. Before this link it took people two days to travel by road from Quetta to Gwadar.
Following recent upgrade of the Bhawalpur airport (with the help of UAE government), and demand by the local business community, PIA has started Boeing 737 flights to Bhawalpur from 28 March 2004. It previously operated Fokker F-27s on this route. PIA will operate two flights a week to this destination.
PIA has recently been awarded the Part-145 Certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This is a major achievement for PIA’s Engineering department.
Following this achievement PIA signed an agreement with Turkish Airlines to overhaul 10 aeroplanes of the Turkish Airlines.
PIA received its first Boeing 777 on 29 January 2004 which went into service the same day, and the second aircraft was received on 15 February whilst the third is due to be received this month (March 2004).
After two years of suspension of flights, due to the Indian government’s senseless ban of Pakistani flights over its air-space, PIA has resumed its twice weekly service to Kathmandu in Nepal, as of 4 January 2004. PIA is due to re-open its office in Kathmandu.
As from 2 January 2004, PIA has introduced weekly Quetta-Sharajah-Quetta flight. PIA already operates weekly flight to Dubai in UAE. The third international flight being operated from Quetta is the Quetta-Mashad flight by PIA, which it is maintaining despite a very small load. PIA also announced reduced cargo rate of Rs 16 per Kilo for Dubai & Sharjah provided the load is over 500Kg.
PIA further announced a 50 percent reduction in fare from Quetta-Karachi sector for people travelling to Almaty (Central Asia).
As from 1st January 2004 PIA is introducing Lahore-Sharjah flight.
In December 2003 Airbus presented PIA with an award for the best utilisation of Airbus aircrafts anywhere in the world. This the second time PIA has been conferred such an award and it is also a testament to the skills of PIA’s maintenance personnel who have maintained this fleet of aircraft and have kept it airworthyness despite the fact that the fleet is now 24 years old.
Upon restoration of air links with India, PIA plans to operate 12 direct flights a week to New Dheli and Bombay.
Now PIA will also fly directly to Colombo, Dhaka and Khatmandu and resume operations to Bangkok and Hong Kong and possibly to Kuala Lumpur and Maldives.
According to independent reports PIA suffered $48 million loss due to the suspension of air links, which we believe is an act of terrorism on part of the Indian Government.
As well as inducting the Boeing 777s into its fleet next year, PIA is hoping to lease six Airbus A301.
PIA plans to start flights to Glasgow, Scotland from April 2004 and to Houston, USA from June 2004.
As from 16 December 2003, PIA would resume its flights to Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Almaty, Kazahkstan in Central Asia. The flights would be operated once a week from Karachi via Islamabad.
PIA’s Haj operation is to start on 26 December 2003, in which PIA hopes to take 120,000 Hujjaj to the Holy land and back. This will involve 430 special flights from Isalambad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawer and Quetta to Jeddah and back. PIAC has leased two Boeing 747s from Orient Thai airline to assist with the Haj operation.
Due to the demands by the business community of Multan area, PIA has decided to restore four times a week Boeing service between Multan and Lahore.
During the mango export season, PIA earned Rs 75million carrying mangoes to London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Oslo, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Athens, Copenhagen, Toronto, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha, Damam, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. PIA used a freighter Airbus A-306 it leased from Turkish company ANG for this purpose, together with three Boeing 747 aircrafts. It carried more than 2000 tons of mangoes to destinations mentioned above.
With an investment of 60 to 70 million Rupees, PIA has launched “Speedex” a door to door courier service. The service is being launched in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/ Rawalpindi and there will be phased expansion to other cities throughout the Country.
China Civil Aviation Administration has allowed PIA to operate flights to Shanghai.
PIA was the first foreign airline to start operations to Shanghai in 1964. Recently PIA was operating twice weekly flight from Karachi-Islamabad to Beijing only, which were reduced to one last month.
The PIAC board of Directors has approved to refurbish its fleet of Air Bus A310 and Boeing 747 combi aircrafts. The board also approved the installation of Recaro seats for the Boeing 777s.
PIA will be the first airline in South East Asia to install electronic flight bags on board its aircrafts. PIA has decided to install the Jeppeses Electronic Flight bags on its three Boeing 777, to be delivered from January 2004 onwards.
For the first quarter of current financial year (Jan-Mar 2003) PIA earned a profit of 1.5billion Rupees.
PIA intends to commence three more flights from Islamabad to Kabul via Peshawar, The corporation is also considering to add a third flight to China.
PIA plan to re-introduce safari flights from Islamabad to the Northern areas.
As of 19th April 2003 PIA has introduced 2 weekly flights from Islamabad to Dera Ghazi Khan.
As part of its fleet renewal programme, early last year, PIA purchased six Boeing 747-300 from Cathy Pacific.
Also late last year (2002), it placed an order with Boeing for eight 777s comprising of three 777-200ERss, two 777-200LRs and three 777-300ERs, the deliveries of the three 200ER would be in January, February and March 2004 (one a month), the two 200LR in January and February 2006 whilst the three 300LR will be delivered in January, February and March 2008 (one a month). This is contrary to the reports at the time of placing the order that deliveries would commence before the end of 2003.
PIA is currently negotiating with ATR to purchase 7 used ATR 42 aircrafts to replace its fleet of Fokker F 27s. PIA’s fleet of Fokker F 27 has an average life of 40 years and therefore are long overdue for replacement. The ATR is a collaboration of French & Italian aircraft manufacturing companies. The ATR 42 is a 42/50 seat aircraft, which made its first flight in 1984.
PIA is also looking to lease four more Airbus A310 to replace four of the eight A300B4s, which are also quite old aircrafts. The remaining four Airbus A300B4s in PIA’s fleet would retire after PIA has taken delivery of the Boeing 777s towards the end of this year.
Due to the above fleet renewal programme, PIA has invited bids for the disposal of its old aircrafts, i.e. 2 Fokker F-27s with immediate affect, 1 Boeing 747-200 in April 2003 and 4 A300 B4-200 Airbus in June/ July this year. The bids were to be submitted by 7 March2003.
On the Instructions of Prime Minister Zaffar Ullah Khan Jamali, as from 1st April this year, PIA is to commence flights from Quetta to Dubai using Boeing 737s. It is worth noting that in the past PIA had flights from Quetta to Sharaja, which were ceased, PIA also started flights from Pasni to Sharaja, but these flights also ceased for some reason. PIA then embarked on Turbat/Sharaja route using Fokker F.27 but subsequent to the 11 Sept. these flights had to be suspended because the International Civil Aviation stipulated that all aircrafts on international flights, must have instruments which can detect the height & speed of other aircrafts in the vicinity and the F. 27s don’t have such an instrument on board.
PIA is considering selling its Hotel Roosevolt in New York.
As of 16 March 2003 PIA has decided to levy Rs 5.0 per kilogram fuel surcharge on all cargo goods except perishable items such as fish, fruit and vegetables.
It is worth mentioning that other airlines have introduced fuel charges much earlier and much more than PIA.