Update: (July 21, 2022):
In the wake of the recent fuel price drop, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has revised both domestic and international fares. According to the details, PIA has reduced the ticket price of international flights by 15%, while domestic airfares have been reduced by 10%. PIA’s decision of reducing fares has provided some relief to people who use the national flag carrier to frequently travel by air.
Update (Feb 28, 2022):
Special Flight Operations By PIA for Stranded Pakistani Students in War-hit Ukraine
While talking to a renowned news TV channel, the CEO of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that preparations had been made to bring stranded Pakistani students back home safely from war-hit Ukraine.
The country’s flag carrier was in talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the management was waiting for a green signal so that it could start special flight operations for students trapped in the war-stricken country.
According to Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ukraine Dr. Noel I Khokhar, hundreds of Pakistani expats are currently facing the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war. The details of the flights would be released as soon as there is any further development.
Update (Feb. 18, 2022):
PIA’s Upcoming Direct Flight Operations to International Destinations
The country’s national flag carrier is constantly working to expand its direct flight operations to more international destinations to facilitate travelers.
Direct Flights to Sydney, Australia
In a recent development, Pakistan International Airlines has decided to start direct flight operations to Australia. According to the initial plans, there would be two flights per week — a two-way flight between the Australian city of Sydney and Karachi as well as a one-way flight from Lahore to Sydney.
The plans are to include the capital city of Islamabad at a later stage. As of now, it takes up to 35 hours for passengers to travel between Pakistan and Australia with some stopovers, which could be an annoying and tedious experience. However, with the launch of direct flights, the travel time is expected to be reduced to almost one-third.
“If it happens, it would be happening for the first time ever. We have run the feasibility, which says it would be beneficial for the airline,” said the PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez.
Direct Flights to Baku, Azerbaijan
The national flag carrier is also finalising a plan to start flight operations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan. There will be direct flights from Karachi and Lahore to Baku — the administrative and financial capital of Azerbaijan.
According to a news article published in a renowned English daily, the PIA spokesperson stated that this direct flight operation was mainly worked upon to cater to the long-standing demand of Pakistanis expats in Azerbaijan.
Update (Oct. 27, 2021): The fleet of the national flag carrier is growing. A newly acquired A320 Aircraft by PIA made a safe landing at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.
Pakistan International Airline has signed a six-year dry lease agreement for the induction of two A320 aircraft to upgrade its fleet and expand its flight operation network. The first of the two recently acquired A320 aircraft already arrived in the country a month ago.
After the recent additions to the fleet, PIA has a total number of 11 in-service A320 Aircraft. As of now, there are 29 aircraft of different brands in the fleet of the national flag carrier. According to the management of PIA, more aircraft will soon be acquired by the airline to expand its capacity to serve both domestic and international travellers.
Here’s a recent Tweet from the CEO of PIA and former Air Marshal, Arshad Malik, in which he is proudly announcing the arrival of the newly inducted aircraft and recognising the work and dedication of the airline’s management and staff members.
With dozens of aeroplanes in its fleet, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the country’s largest airline. The national flag carrier of Pakistan is also among the oldest and most popular airlines in the world.
Operating for decades between dozens of national and international destinations, PIA enjoys a very interesting history. So, in this post, we have decided to give our readers a comprehensive overview of the national airline of Pakistan, detailing interesting facts about the airline’s history as well as discussing the latest updates regarding its operations.
Here we go!
Quick Facts About Pakistan International Airlines
To begin with our overview, we’ll, first of all, take a look at some quick facts about Pakistan International Airlines.
History of Pakistan International Airlines
Digging into the facts regarding the history of PIA, we come to realise that the airline was founded in 1946 as Orient Airways. Its headquarters were in Calcutta, India, before the independence. However, after 1947, the airline was nationalised to form the Pakistan International Airlines. The newly formed airline was based on a fleet of three L-I049C Super Constellations, two Convair CV-240s, and eleven DC-3 aircrafts.
The very first international flight of PIA took off in 1955. Routed to London’s Heathrow Airport, this PIA flight made stopovers in Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy. PIA was also the very first airline in Asia to have Boeing 707 in its fleet.
The airline also has a record of completing the world’s longest commercial flight in 2005. It was a non-stop flight completed in more than twenty-two hours by a commercial airliner, Boeing 777-200LR. We’ll learn more about the aircrafts in the PIA fleet further in this blog.
Aircrafts in PIA Fleet
To learn more about the PIA fleet, we’ll first take a look at the airplanes used by the fleet formerly. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has used many popular aircrafts in its fleet throughout its history. Some of the most prominent ones have been listed as under with their acquiring and retiring years.
|Fokker F27-600 Friendship||1966||1986|
|Hawker Siddeley Trident 1E||1966||1970|
Further, we’ll take a look at the list of the aircrafts that are currently in use of Pakistan International Airlines, which are 32 in number. Details in this regard are as under:
Airbus A320-200: Narrow-body commercial airliners with a capacity to carry around 180 passengers. The aircraft was launched in 1984. As of now, PIA has 11 Airbus A320-200s.
Boeing 777: Currently PIA is using three models of Boeing 777: 200ER, 200LR and 300ER. As discussed, Boeing 777-200LR was used by PIA to complete the longest commercial flight. It is a special type of aircraft that offers superior range as well as outstanding fuel efficiency. There are currently 12 Boeing 777 airplanes in the PIA fleet.
ATR Aircraft: ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 are small-sized aircrafts with a capacity of carrying 48 and 70 passengers, respectively. A total number of 9 ATR aircrafts are currently in use of PIA.
PIA Flight Operations and Security
To maintain smooth flight operations and ensure safety of the passengers, PIA works hand-in-hand with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airports Security Force (ASF). PIA is under the administrative control of the secretary of Aviation, a representative of the Government of Pakistan. The current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PIA is Arshad Malik, who is a former Air Marshal.
In the light of the latest updates on Pakistan International Airlines, the headquarters of the national airline of Pakistan is also being shifted from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi to Islamabad International Airport (IIA). The official slogan of PIA is ‘Great People to Fly With’.
The operations of the largest airline of Pakistan are run smoothly by its staff, which is based on more than 14,000 personnel. From pilots to flight crew and labour force, all of the staff members are trained in their respective fields. Moreover, PIA is the only airline in Pakistan to have its own training centres authorised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
As per the latest updates on Pakistan International Airlines, the national flag carrier now flies between fifty-six national and international destinations around the world. Some of the major regions that the airline covers include the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. Moreover, it flies between all the major cities of Pakistan domestically. Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, and Sialkot.
Quick Fact: Being the largest airline of Pakistan, PIA is the only airline that operates flights between Islamabad, the capital city and Skardu Valley, one of the country’s top tourist destinations.
PIA Hajj Operations
PIA also makes special arrangements for Hajj operations each year. Only in 2019, it carried more than 80,000 passengers to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan. This also generations billions of revenue for the airline.
As per the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, PIA also introduced the ‘Road to Makkah’ project for Hajj 2019 in Pakistan. It was to facilitate thousands of pilgrims travelling under the government scheme by providing them fast track clearance.
PIA Ticket Prices
In this section of our blog, we have listed ticket prices for the economy class of PIA flights flying between different national and international destinations. The rates mentioned below are as of Jun 2021.
Karachi-Lahore (Domestic Flight)
A one-way trip will now cost you around PKR 6,950
Karachi-Islamabad (Domestic Flight)
A one-way trip will cost you around PKR 6,950
Karachi-Peshawar (Domestic Flight)
A one-way trip will cost you around PKR 6,950
Karachi-Dubai (International Flight)
A round trip will cost you around PKR 51,000
Lahore-Dubai (International Flight)
A round trip will cost you around PKR 36,000
Islamabad-Jeddah (International Flight)
A round trip will cost you around PKR 47,000
Note: Due to the on-going pandemic situation, flight operations have either been completely ceased or partially opened at many airports around the world. They are being restored slowly and gradually, keeping in view the safety of passengers. We’ll update the aforementioned list and rates if there are any further developments in this regard.
PIA Helpline Number and E-tickets
The airline has its very own e-ticketing portal, which is, for some reason, out of order these days. However, you can easily find PIA e-tickets on plenty of third-party websites these days. After receiving your PIA e-tickets, you can also confirm or verify your PIA flight booking by calling on PIA helpline number mentioned below:
PIA Helpline Number / Customer Service: 021-111-786-786
Note: The aforementioned number can also be used for PIA ticket booking as well as inquiring about flight schedule of PIA.
Facilities for Passengers
Pakistan International Airlines deals with hundreds of travellers on a daily basis and offers them a wide-range of in-flight and on-ground services. Let’s learn about each of these facilities one by one.
PIA offers three-class configurations for domestic flights: Business, Executive Economy and Economy and two-class configurations for international flights.
Partnered with different hotels and eateries, PIA serves different types of hygienic meals to the travelers during flight. All of the food items, snacks, and beverages served on the plane are halal and alcohol-free. One of the main food suppliers for these flights is PIA Catering, which is owned by the airline itself.
In-flight Entertainment Services
As per the latest updates on PIA, the airline offers different types of in-flight entertainment services such as magazines, newspaper WiFi internet, broadcasting of movies, and tv shows. Most of these services are exclusively for business class passengers.
Lounges and Waiting Areas
Almost all international airports in Pakistan have dedicated lounges for PIA customers. On the other hand, if you’re travelling abroad, you may be privileged to use waiting areas and lounges of international airports as well. There may also be dedicated lounges for PIA passengers. The availability of such facilities depends on your destination and the place of your flight’s layover.
These places are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like WiFi internet, neat and clean rest rooms, snack and food bars, magazines, newspapers, non-smoking areas, TV and internet services.
PIA Cargo Operations
PIA cargo operations run at a massive scale. It transfers different types of goods in the form of air freight both domestically and internationally. The national flag carrier of Pakistan has also launched a courier service known as ‘PIA Speedex’. Its offices are found in all the major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, and the twin-cities.
Some of the major international destinations PIA can ship cargo to include:
- Abu Dhabi
- Kuala Lumpur
This brings us to the end of our comprehensive overview of Pakistan International Airlines. We hope this blog has provided you all the key information regarding the national airline of Pakistan. In case, you still have any questions or feedback related to our post, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to assist you.
On a side note, we have also written informative guides on some of the major international airports across Pakistan that may interest you. Have a look:
- Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore
- Sialkot International Airport
- Jinnah International Airport, Karachi
- Islamabad International Airport
- Multan International Airport
- Bacha Khan Airport, Peshawar
For more informative pieces related to lifestyle, real estate and tourism in Pakistan, keep reading Zameen Blogs. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get daily alerts. Also, don’t miss out on following Zameen News to stay up-to-date with current affairs.