In This Post:
About Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
History of Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
Facts & figures
Management of JIAP
Location of JIAP
Facilities at JIAP
Karachi Airport’s helpline/inquiry number
Property investment near JIAP
Hotels near Karachi Airport
Places to visit near JIAP
FAQs about Karachi International Airport
Just like our recent post on Islamabad International Airport (IIA), where we had listed the main facilities available in IIA, we’re back with a guide on Karachi Airport – a historical complex in the city of lights and a symbol of pride for Pakistan.
Karachi Airport – officially known as Jinnah International Airport – is the primary gateway for both domestic and international flights entering the city of lights. The airfield comprises four terminals and supports more than 40 airlines ferrying passengers to all parts of the globe. In this blog, we will look at how this airfield has facilitated passengers over the years and explore everything else worth knowing about the airport.
As per usual, we’ve divided this guide into several easy-to-comprehend segments. From history to the inquiry number, location to airline summary, we have attempted to cover every aspect. For easy navigation to your desired section, you can use the links given above.
So, without further ado, let’s get flying!
Overview of Karachi Airport
Jinnah International Airport (JIAP) is a complex that comprises several runways, buildings, terminals, restaurants, lounges, and much more. The main purpose of this complex is to provide a base for civil aircraft to take-off, land, and use the maintenance services, while simultaneously facilitating passengers.
Deemed as Pakistan’s largest international and domestic airbase, JIAP is divided into four terminals, including Terminal I, II, III, and the Jinnah Terminal. We will take a look at the distribution of the terminal in the latter part of this blog. For now, let’s get a quick overview of Karachi Airport.
As the name implies, JIAP has been named after the country’s first governor-general and the founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In this guide to Karachi Airport, we might not have anything new to tell you, but it never hurts to brush up on history, for which we have tried to cover every inch and angle of the airport.
Currently, JIAP occupies around 3,000 acres of land, which is further divided into the proportions mentioned below:
- 1,327 acres of land out of the 3,000 acres is currently being used for several operations at the airport.
- 158 acres have been acquired by Terminal I, II, and III, while Jinnah Terminal Complex (JTC) comprises 23 acres with two runways.
Terminals at Karachi Airport
Knowing what terminal at Karachi Airport you are flying to or from can help you save a lot of time and energy. It can ease your travel and help you navigate the airport easily. As mentioned earlier, there are four terminals in Karachi Airport, but only one of them is currently active, i.e., Jinnah Terminal. It is also known as the JTC building. The active terminal is further divided into two concourses mentioned below:
- Jinnah East Satellite Concourse – used for international departures
- Jinnah West Satellite Concourse – used for domestic departures
Furthermore, there are two levels of Jinnah Terminal. The Jinnah International Airport’s arrivals are situated at lower level while the upper level is used for departures.
Lounges at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
Karachi International Airport is divided into several wings and lounges, where you can freshen up and relax while waiting for your flight. The details of the lounges at Karachi Airport along with their facilities are mentioned below:
- Bank Alfalah Premier Lounge: There are two separate lounges for both international and domestic flights departing from the airport. These lounges mainly feature Wi-Fi facilities, snack and food bars, magazines and newspapers, TV, and internet terminals. It is a non-smoking facility.
- CIP Lounge: This lounge operates 24/7 mainly for departing flights and boasts a vivid spectrum of facilities, including premium meals and snacks, Wi-Fi, flight monitors, newspapers, magazines, TV, internet terminals, printers, copiers, and telephones. It is also a non-smoking facility.
- Marhaba Lounge: This lounge is mainly reserved for international departures and remains operational 24/7. The services offered at this lounge include first-class kiosks, Wi-Fi, flight monitors, newspapers, magazines, TV, children’s area, and a separate smoking area.
- PIA Business Plus Lounge: It mainly caters to departures and features kiosks, Wi-Fi, newspapers & magazines, TV, internet terminals. It is a non-smoking facility.
Code of Karachi Airport
The IATA airport code – also known as a location identifier – is a unique geocode generated by the International Air Transport Association. The organisation’s primary purpose is to ensure the safety, security, reliability, and efficiency of airports registered with the organisation. And, the IATA airport code of Karachi Airport is KHI.
On the other hand, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is responsible for generating the ICAO codes that are primarily used for official purposes. This organisation ensures air traffic control and flight plans. The ICAO code of Karachi Airport is OPKC.
Now that you have the background information about Jinnah International Airport and it’s division into many parts, let’s talk about the history of Karachi Airport and its development over the years.
History of Karachi Airport
According to the official website of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the history of Karachi Airport predates the creation of Pakistan. Here’s a comprehensive timeline [adapted from CAA’s official website] on how the airport developed since 1924 and facilitated national and international passengers:
- 1924: Karachi was earmarked as the major airbase after the construction of an aerodrome. It was used by the British people as a gateway to India.
- 1925: Karachi airport was used for international air routes beyond Europe.
- 1927: An airship mooring tower [for the docking of airship] was built. Just like any other mooring tower, it consisted of an 850+ ft tall and around 180+ ft wide black hangar, which was popularly known as Kala Chapra. The dock was built to park British R-101 Airship – a part of the Imperial Airship Communication Scheme.
- 1929: Karachi Airport was the first commercial airport in South Asia after the Imperial Airways [a British airline] aircraft landed in Karachi from London.
- 1938: Karachi Airport’s Terminal I was used by the US Forces units.
- 1947: After independence, Karachi Airport became Pakistan’s first international airport.
- 1948: As a symbol of pride, Terminal I building was used on Pakistan’s postage stamps and currency notes between 1948 and 1954.
- 1955: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) took off its first international flight via Karachi Airport to London-Heathrow Airport.
- 1961: A new jet runway, 07L/25R, was launched at Karachi Airport.
- 1992: The JTC marked its completion as the most expensive civil construction project in Pakistan’s history till then.
A lot of development has taken place after 1992 at Jinnah International Airport and will continue to take place with the advancements in technology and as the needs of the passengers evolve. However, one fact that hasn’t changed over the years is that the complex continues to serve as a primary hub for national and international flights.
Facts about Jinnah International Airport
We know for a fact that Karachi Airport is among Pakistan’s busiest airports, handling half of the country’s passengers. The place itself is an interesting destination, and the following facts will help you understand why:
- Jinnah International Airport is the main international airport and the primary access to Karachi.
- Karachi Airport houses more than forty airlines from both national and international locations.
- The airport connects the city of lights with over 65 destinations.
- It was formerly known as Drigh Road Airport.
- Jinnah International Airport is also deemed as Pakistan’s largest airport as well as the busiest one.
- This airbase in Karachi handles around 12 million passengers annually.
About CAA – Karachi Airport Management
Similar to most airports in the country, Karachi Airport falls under the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority – a state-owned department. Established on 7th December 1982, under the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Ordinance 1982, this department oversees the operations related to domestic and international airlines coming to and departing from Pakistan.
As per the official website of the CAA, the primary purpose of this department is to:
- Promote and regulate activities related to flights and airline operations.
- Develop a safe infrastructure for air transportation in Pakistan.
- Bring constant improvements and efficiency in the current infrastructure.
- Make air transport affordable and adequate in the country.
Furthermore, the CAA is headquartered in Karachi, and the core functions of this department are to regulate air navigation services and airport services in the country. You can find more about the organisation by visiting the official website of CAA and navigating to the ‘About’ section on the portal.
Location of Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
The city of lights is a place unlike any other. Mostly known for its exhilarating lifestyle and a strong connection to the global trade and tourism industry, the city hosts a gigantic airfield that supports both domestic and international flights.
Situated in the well-populated neighbourhood of Faisal Cantonment, JIAP is well-connected to Jinnah Avenue. The airbase is accessible via Airport Road, which is connected to major arteries of the city such as Shahrah-e-Faisal Road, while Lyari Expressway is near the northern side of the airport. Similarly, if we further analyse the location of Jinnah International Airport, we can see it is situated near many popular housing schemes, including Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir Cantonment, and Shah Faisal Town. Not to mention its linkages with major bus stops and railway stations in the city.
Taking account of the near-perfect location of the Karachi Airport, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the port has played a pivotal role in empowering communication and transportation in Pakistan.
Pro tip: Check out which areas in Karachi are nearest to the Jinnah International Airport by navigating to Zameen Area Guides.
How to Get to Karachi Airport?
As mentioned above, getting to Karachi Airport is not a problem for both Karachittes and visitors since there are abundant options for transportation in Karachi. You will have a range of options from public buses to private cabs, and the good thing is that most of them have a connection to Airport Road due to its connectivity with major arteries of the city.
JIAP understands that there’s nothing better than landing after a long flight, collecting your luggage, and finding a cab within a few minutes. So, the airport provides a host of shuttle services for passengers and greeters that are active 24/7. You can easily book a cab/taxi and shuttle services [both AC and Non-AC] by visiting various counters at the ‘arrival’ concourse.
Here’s how you can book a cab in advance by calling at the numbers given below:
- Metro Radio Cab: 111-222-787 and 021-4671004
- White Cab: 111-789-786 and 021-4671095
- Taxi Yellow Cab Service: 021-34601919
- Europcar: 021-111773773 and 021-99071195
- Daewoo Cab & Shuttle: 021-34570300
Moreover, app-based cab-hailing services have also gained popularity among passengers and have completely changed the game. People tend to call the cabs at their door-step to avoid any hassle, as per their needs. Cars, rickshaws, or even bikes are used by people to commute to and from the airport.
Speaking of which, do not forget to take a look at our post where we have discussed some important considerations before booking an online cab.
Airlines Operating at Karachi Airport
The most important airlines operating directly to and from Jinnah International Airport are mentioned in the table below, along with their contact information and official website. Please note that the information has been extracted from the official website of the Civil Aviation Authority.
|Airline Name||Contact Number||Official Website|
|Serene Air||11 737 363||www.sereneair.com|
|Pakistan International Airline (PIA)||111-786-786||www.piac.com.pk|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||021-34680333||www.saudiairlines.com|
|Oman Air||021- 35693977||www.omanair.com|
|Turkish Airline||021- 3459210||www.turkishairlines.com|
|Sri Lanka Airline||021-4371271/1272||www.srilankan.com|
Booking a flight from Karachi to your desired destination is quite easy. All you need is to either give them a call from the contact numbers mentioned above or log on to their website. You can check the flight schedule on Karachi Airport by navigating to the flight info section on Karachi Airport’s official website. Just enter the name of the airline and other essential information.
When to Arrive For Your Flight?
The area near the airport stays busy throughout the day, so it mainly depends on the schedule of your flight and your destination. For starters, we have explained the estimated arrival time below:
- If you are flying within the country from JIAP, we recommend arriving at least 2 hours before your flight.
- International flights follow a rather strict and lengthy process of transfers. So, if you are flying internationally, it is best to arrive at least 4 hours before the scheduled take-off time.
Facilities at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
Now, let’s learn more about some significant facilities available at Jinnah International Airport.
Parking Facility at Jinnah International Airport
JIAP parking lot is located right in front of the main terminal – Jinnah Terminal. It can accommodate up to 2,000 vehicles and offers both short-term and long-term parking services. If you are visiting the airport for a personal flight or dropping someone off, you should know that cars aren’t allowed to stay in the service area on the main terminal.
Karachi Airport also features valet parking services that are available at both the upper and lower levels. Similarly, special parking is available for people with reduced mobility. Meanwhile, pick-up & drop-off lanes are located close to the JTC near the arrival concourse.
Here’s a summary of the charges of the parking facility at Jinnah International Airport:
- Motorcycles: 10 PKR
- Private Vehicles: 50 PKR
- Commercial Transport: 100 PKR
- 24 Hours (Long-Term Parking): 300 PKR
Note: Prices are subject to change.
JIAP also boasts a mosque that facilitates passengers waiting for their flights. It is situated adjacent to the parking area.
Passenger Porter Services (PPS)
Jinnah International Airport boasts Passenger Porter Services (PPS) upon request. Here are the charges of Passenger Porter Services (PPS) at Karachi Airport:
- Domestic Passengers: PKR 100
- International Passengers: PKR 200
Additional Facilities at Karachi Airport
Some additional facilities at Karachi Airport are mentioned below:
- Mother room
- Muslim prayer rooms
- Banking facilities, ATMs, and currency exchanges
- Baggage trolleys
- Computers (for free)
- Duty-free shops
- Food, drink, and retail concessions
- Wi-Fi service
- Luggage storage and lockers
- Medical services
- Mobile recharging points
- Special care
Note: Some of these facilities are only available to the passengers travelling in first-class and business class.
Karachi Airport’s Inquiry Number
If you need any further information, you can call the inquiry number for Karachi Airport:
Karachi Airport’s Inquiry Number: 021-99071111
Property Investment near Karachi Airport
We understand that choosing a place to settle in the vibrant city of lights is one of the most crucial decisions for expats and migrants from nearby cities. Ideally, you want a secure and peaceful place, which is also close to your office and other facilities. You will be glad to know that there are many options for property investment near Karachi Airport.
To begin with, the Airport Security Force Housing Scheme – also known as ASF City – is a housing scheme situated near Jinnah International Airport. The city has been hailed as ‘The Sustainable City of Pakistan’ by the developers, and it is going to serve as a model for the cooperative societies in the future. Currently, the housing scheme is in the development phase and only offers vacant plots at the minimum rate of PKR 16 lakh to PKR 46 lakh – varying from the size and installment plan. Check out our blog on the latest updates on ASF City, where we have revealed everything – from location to prices.
On the other hand, if you want to invest in readily built houses, you can opt for Model Colony, situated around 3 km away from Karachi Airport. The housing scheme comprises several blocks ranging in numerical order and hosts a wide range of residential units in varying sizes. A minimum investment of PKR 90 lakh is required to acquire a house in Model Colony, Karachi.
Similarly, around 12 km north of Jinnah International Airport, you will find Malir Cantonment that offers both readily-built houses and plots for sale. A minimum investment of PKR 40 lakh is required if you want to acquire a vacant piece of land, while the prices of houses in this area start from PKR 2 crore.
Hotels Near Karachi Airport
There are plenty of hotels near Karachi Airport that can be used by visitors for the duration of their stay in the city. The airport itself features a hotel situated close to the Airport Road. You can also contact Ramada Hotel directly, which is a reputed hotel in Karachi, situated at a distance of 3 km from the airport. Some other nearby hotels are Karachi Motel Guest House, Hotel Second Home, Season Inn, and Rehaish Inn. They are all situated just 10-15 minutes’ drive away from Karachi Airport.
Famous Places to Visit Near Karachi Airport
As discussed in the section where we’ve mentioned the location of Jinnah Airport, the airport is situated at a very ideal location and it is surrounded by many famous places in Karachi. Some of the most famous places near Jinnah International Airport, Karachi are:
- PAF Museum
- Pakistan Maritime Museum
- Safari Park
- Hill Park
- The tomb of Quaid-e-Azam
Note: All of these places require 20 to 30 minutes’ drive from Karachi Airport.
FAQs about Karachi Airport
Airport is a place that we’ve visited at least once in our lifetime – whether to drop someone off or for personal flights. Some of us know this place by heart, while some are still looking for ways to know this place better. No matter which category you fall into, here’re some FAQs about Karachi Airport answered:
Is there free Wi-Fi at Jinnah Airport?
The Internet is absolutely free at Jinnah International Airport. You can connect your phone to the airport’s free Wi-Fi and surf the internet for any information. Navigate to the facilities’ section of this blog to find out more about the services and facilities on Karachi Airport.
Is there an email address for Karachi Airport?
Yes, there’s an email address for Karachi Airport that you can use for queries.
Karachi Airport Email Address: email@example.com
Who manages the security of Karachi Airport?
Just like other functions at the airport, the security system is also managed by a department of CAA, along with the Airport Security Force.
Are greeters allowed at Jinnah International Airport?
Yes, visitors or recipients of the passengers are allowed at Jinnah Airport under certain conditions. As such, only one greeter is allowed to receive or see-off a passenger through a pedestrian gate.
What is the process of checking-in at Jinnah International Airport?
Like any other airport, the process of checking-in at JIAP is extremely easy and hassle free. You can check-in at JIAP within a few simple steps:
- Walk up to your airline and show them your ticket details.
- Handover your luggage to the airline staff.
- Receive your boarding pass before you proceed further.
How to reclaim your luggage at Karachi Airport?
Reclaiming your baggage at the airport is extremely easy. All you need to do is to contact your respective airline or get in touch with CAA complaint cell. The lost and found department at CAA can be contacted via the phone number given below:
CAA Lost and Found: 091-9211525 (Ext-3063)
What items aren’t permitted at the Airport?
If you are checking-in at JIAP, make sure you are not carrying any illegal items. As per the official page of Karachi Airport, the items mentioned below are strictly prohibited inside the premises of the airport:
- Antique items
- Counterfeit currency and products
- Currency more than PKR 3,000 USD 10,000 (or equivalent foreign currency)
- Endangered wildlife species, fauna, and flora or any items protected under the Wild Life Act and Cites
- Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
- Intellectual Property Right infringements and illegal media
- Heroin, drugs, narcotics or any other intoxicating agents
For further assistance or information, please visit the Custom or FBR’s official website.
How to provide feedback/lodge complaints regarding airport services?
The feedback and complaint section on the official website of Karachi Airport enables you to lodge a complaint and provide feedback.
How to get updates on flight schedule and other information?
Getting updated on your respective flight information is completely hassle-free. All you need is to either contact the helpline of CAA or visit CAA Flight Enquiry located in the terminal building. Similarly, Flight Information Display boards also show updated information. Flight Inquiry counter can also be contacted in case you want any information.
How many bags are allowed for check-in and carrying?
The luggage weight varies from airline to airline. Generally, international passengers are only allowed to carry two baggage that must not exceed the limit of 20 kg. It is always better to check with your airline before you start packing.
Where is the smoking area at the airport?
Smoking is not allowed in Karachi Airport and is strictly prohibited at all airports across the country for security reasons.
Where can we get protocol services?
The airport offers 24/7 protocol services. You can avail this service by visiting the Services and Facilities section on the official website. You can also contact protocol facility on the number given below:
Airport Protocol Services: 091-9211525
Does the airport offer wheelchair assistance?
Yes, wheelchairs are readily available at JIAP. You can get more information about this service by contacting your respective airline.
Can I book a rental/taxi onsite?
Yes, you can book a rental car or taxi at the airport. For further assistance, navigate to the cab facilities in the blog under the facilities section.
What are the operational hours for restaurants and kiosks at the airport?
Restaurants and kiosks at the airport are operational 24 hours to facilitate passengers. The food and beverages section at the official website of JIAP will allow you to fetch further information.
Are there any facilities for purchasing mobile phones, recharge, or SIM cards at the airport?
No, currently the airport doesn’t offer the facilities for purchasing cellphones or SIM cards. You can, however, get your phone’s balance recharged at the airport.
How to get a polio vaccination certificate at the airport?
Getting a polio vaccination certificate at the airport is easy. All you need to do is to visit Airport Health Office at the M.T area near CAA M.I Room.
Which health certificate do international travellers require?
International passengers require polio vaccination certificate before they depart from Pakistan.
So, this was our comprehensive guide to Jinnah International Airport. We have tried to cover every possible aspect of this place to make it easier for you to navigate it. In case we have missed anything, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, take a look at our blog, where we have discussed the several pros and cons of living near an airport.
Disclaimer: The information on this page has been extracted from the official sources and websites of the Civil Aviation Authority and Karachi Airport. The aim of this blog is to provide a guide to Karachi Airport to our readers for smooth navigation. Zameen.com is not responsible in case if the information changes on the official sources. However, we take the responsibility to update the information timely.
Note: The images in this post, including the cover image, have been sourced from the official website of Jinnah International Airport.