Pakistan International Airlines

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Pakistan International Airlines
پاکستان انٹرنیشنل ایئر لائنز
Logo of the PIA
Boeing 777-300ER of the PIA
IATA code : PK
ICAO code : PIA
Call sign : PAKISTAN
Founding: 1946 (as Orient Airways)
Seat: Karachi , PakistanPakistanPakistan 
Turnstile :

Karachi / Jinnah International Airport

Home airport : Karachi / Jinnah International Airport
Company form: State company
IATA prefix code : 214
Management: Arshad Malik ( Chairman )
Sales: PKR 69.24 billion (Q1 – Q3 2015)
Balance sheet total: PKR −20.55 billion (Q1 – Q3 2015)
Frequent Flyer Program : Awards Plus
Fleet size: 33 (+ 8 orders)
Aims: National and international

Pakistan International Airlines ( Urdu پاکستان انٹرنیشنل ایئر لائنز, PIA for short ) is Pakistan's national airline based in Karachi and based at Karachi / Jinnah International Airport .


Foundation and first years

Boeing 707 in 1961, used as a government aircraft

In 1951, Pakistan International Airlines was founded by the then government of Pakistan. Initially, only flights were carried out in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh ). But only with the takeover of the economically troubled Orient Airways on March 11, 1955, international flight operations began. From Karachi, Pakistan International Airlines took off with Lockheed Constellation to London Heathrow via Cairo and Rome . Convair CV-240 and DC-3 were used for domestic flights . In 1956 PIA ordered two Lockheed Super Constellations and five Vickers Viscounts . The Viscount replaced the DC-3.

PIA in the now age

Fokker F-27 of PIA, Sharjah 2000

In March 1960, Pakistan International Airlines became the first Asian airline to receive a Boeing 707 , which first flew to New York City in 1961. 1962 came Boeing 720 , Fokker F-27 and Sikorsky - helicopter fleet added. The airline's Boeing 720 set a record that same year when it covered the route from Karachi to London in less than seven hours. In 1964, Pakistan International Airlines was the first airline from a non-communist country to fly to the People's Republic of China . During the war between India and Pakistan in 1965, PIA assisted the Pakistani armed forces with logistics and transportation. In 1966 the Hawker Siddeley Trident was introduced as a replacement for the Vickers Viscount. In 1967 Pakistan International Airlines received the first computer in Pakistan, an IBM model.

In 1971, the war between Pakistan and India and the founding of Bangladesh in the old eastern part of Pakistan resulted in the suspension of many connections and flights. It was not until the following year, 1972, after a reorganization that the airline resumed its - also international - flight operations. In the same year, Libya was flown to and a cooperation with JAT was concluded. The first wide-body aircraft was the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 in 1973 . The air freight service began in 1974. In 1975 new uniforms were introduced for PIA crew members. In 1976 two Boeing 747s leased from TAP Portugal were added to the fleet, which were later purchased.

In the early 1980s, Pakistan International Airlines opened a cargo center in Karachi. In 1982 the Airbus models A300 for short and medium- haul flights and the A310 for long-haul flights were added to the fleet. Both types became an important pillar of the company. In 1985 five Boeing 737s were added to the fleet. In 1989 the first Pakistan International Airlines aircraft flew under the direction of a female pilot.

Development since 1990

Boeing 777-200ER of the PIA in retro painting

In 1992 Tashkent was flown to for the first time and one year later to Zurich . In 1995 the airline received its first Boeing 747 - Flight Simulator . In 1996 the route to Beirut was reopened. In 1999 PIA received six Boeing 747-300s from Cathay Pacific , with these aircraft the color scheme of the machines was also changed.

In 2002 PIA ordered three 777-200ERs , two 777-200LRs and three 777-300ERs from Boeing . In 2004 the first 777-200ERs were delivered to Pakistan International Airlines. The new 777-200ER were given a new look right from the start, which all other aircraft have now also gradually received. In 2006 the first 777-200LR was delivered to PIA. This was the first 777-200LR to be put into service in the world.

For 2006, PIA reported a fall in sales of 150.6 million US dollars . The reason for the drop in sales was rising kerosene costs on the international market. In 2006, PIA transported 5.7 million passengers, an increase of 5.1% compared to the previous year and an occupancy rate of 73%.

On March 3, 2007, a spokesman for the PIA announced that from March 10, only the Boeing 777 fleet will be allowed to land in the European Union , as the other machines in the long-haul fleet are suspected of having massive safety deficiencies and are therefore included in the list of operating bans for the airspace of the European Union . On July 4, 2007, the European Union announced that in addition to the Boeing 777s , two 747-200s , three 747-300s and six Airbus A310s would be allowed to fly into European airspace. Shortly afterwards, on July 9, there was an engine-related incident, with the affected 747-300 having to return to Jeddah Airport . At the end of November 2007, PIA was removed from the black list and has since been allowed to fly to airports in the European Union with all aircraft in the long-haul fleet.

For the 60th anniversary of the company's international flight operations, the color scheme used from 2010 onwards was supplemented by special retro paints in 2015 . In the same year the already very outdated Boeing 747-300s were retired.

On December 4, 2015, PIA was renamed Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited by presidential order .

The German Bernd Hildenbrand, former Lufthansa manager, took over the management of the PIA at the beginning of 2016. At the end of the year, Hildenbrand is said to have sold an Airbus A310 below value from Leipzig / Halle Airport on the occasion of the planned opening of the route from Karachi with a stopover in Leipzig / Halle to New York. In April 2017, an Airbus A330 from Sri Lankan Airlines is said to have been rented overpriced under his direction . Hildenbrand denies the allegations, but had to relinquish the management of the company and currently works as Chief Operating Officer for PIA. The planned flight to New York via Leipzig / Halle was initially postponed several times and has not yet been implemented.

In 2017, the last PIA Airbus A310-300s were finally decommissioned. The oldest machine in the possession of the PIA was 27.2 years old before it was decommissioned.


Pakistan International Airlines flies to numerous destinations within Pakistan as well as various destinations in Asia and Europe .

Codeshare PIA has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:


Airbus A310-300 of the PIA
Boeing 747-300 of PIA in 2005

Current fleet

As of March 2020, the Pakistan International Airlines fleet consists of 33 aircraft with an average age of 13.0 years:

Aircraft type number ordered Remarks Seats
( Business / Eco + / Eco )
Airbus A320-200 12 AP-BLA & AP-BLT in retro painting 158 (8 / - / 150)
ATR 42-500 4th 48 (- / 10/38)
ATR 72-500 5 68 (- / - / 68)
Boeing 777-200ER 6th AP-BMG in retro painting 320 (35/45/240)
329 (35/54/240)
Boeing 777-200LR 2 310 (35/60/215)
Boeing 777-300ER 4th 393 (35/54/304)
Boeing 787-8 8th - open -
total 33 8th
Boeing 720 of the PIA, Frankfurt 1965

Previously deployed aircraft

In the past, PIA operated, among others, the following types of aircraft:


The PIA ATR 42 crashed on December 7, 2016

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), together with its former name Orient Airways, has recorded a total of 36 incidents with total loss of the aircraft since 1946, including 21 with a total of 772 fatalities. 17 of the Fokker F-27s alone were destroyed. Examples of all incidents:

  • On November 26, 1979 a Boeing 707 (registration number AP-EEZ ) crashed on a flight with pilgrims from Mecca from Jeddah to Karachi after an emergency call about 35 minutes after take-off 50 kilometers north of Taif and burned out. All 156 inmates were killed. The cause is assumed to be a gasoline-powered stove used by passengers in the cabin, a behavior that for a long time not uncommon among pilgrims with no flight experience (see also Pakistan International Airlines flight 740 ) .
  • On March 2, 1981, a Boeing 720 (registration number AP-AZP ) with 148 occupants was hijacked on a domestic flight from Peshawar to Kabul in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. The kidnappers demanded the release of 90 prisoners in Pakistan and the cessation of propaganda against the left-wing militant organization Al-Zulfiqar of the Pakistani People's Party (PPP), of which the kidnappers were also members. On March 4, 27 people were released. Two days later, a passenger was shot dead. On March 9, the plane landed in Damascus , Syria . The Pakistani government under Mohammed Zia ul-Haq then flown 54 prisoners to Syria. On March 14, the kidnappers surrendered to the Syrian security forces.
  • On August 25, 1989, a Fokker F-27-200 (registration number AP-BBF ) disappeared on a flight from Gilgit to Islamabad with 54 occupants. The last radio message was received four minutes after take-off. The wreck of the machine has not yet been found; a crash in the Himalayas is considered likely.
  • On June 16, 2004, a Fokker F-27-200 (registration number AP-AUR ) rolled over the end of the 1,768 m long runway at Chitral Airport and was irreparably damaged. All 40 occupants survived the accident.
  • On July 10, 2006, a Fokker F-27-200 (registration number AP-BAL ) crashed shortly after taking off from Multan . All 45 people on board were killed. Despite an engine failure, the captain had continued take-off during the take-off run; it came to a stall. The engine damage itself was caused by maintenance errors.
  • On June 24, 2014, an Airbus A310 (registration number AP-BGN ) was shot at while approaching Peshawar International Airport . One passenger was killed and three flight attendants were injured. The plane that took off from Riyadh Airport was hit by six bullets, at least one of which hit an engine.
  • On December 7, 2016, an ATR-42-500 (registration number AP-BHO ) coming from Chitral had an accident while approaching Islamabad Airport with six crew members and 42 passengers on board not far from the town of Havelian. There were no survivors (see also Pakistan International Airlines Flight 661 ) .
  • On May 22, 2020, an Airbus A320-200 crashed into a housing estate in Karachi . According to previous knowledge, the pilots flew too high on the first approach, which the air traffic controller pointed out to them several times. Nevertheless, they continued the approach. As a result, the aircraft collided with the engines about 1300 m, 1650 m and 2100 m behind the threshold of the runway with the landing gear retracted. Instead of landing on the engines, the pilots forced their plane back into the air. They were then instructed by the pilot to climb to 3,000 feet. Both engines failed at 1,800 feet. Due to the low altitude, the pilots were no longer able to return to the airport. The plane arriving from Lahore crashed into a residential area about 2 kilometers from the airport, killing 89 of the 91 passengers and all eight crew members. There was one fatality and seven injured on the ground, while 19 buildings were damaged and about a dozen vehicles were destroyed. (See also Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 ) .

Entry ban into European airspace in 2020

On June 30, 2020, it became known that EASA had banned PIA from entering European airspace from July 1, 2020. The formal justification is the inadequate implementation of a prescribed flight safety management system . At the same time, fake or at least dubious licenses in 260 of the 840 Pakistani pilots were pointed out. The ban was initially set for six months.

See also

Web links

Commons : Pakistan International Airlines  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Air Marshal Arshad Malik appointed PIA chairman The Nation, October 11, 2018, accessed October 28, 2018
  2. a b - Director's Report Q1 – Q3 2015, January 15, 2016 (PDF file; English)
  4. ^ PIA marks 60 years of service by introducing retro livery., June 3, 2015, accessed April 3, 2016 .
  5. - Pakistan International dismisses German boss , accessed on April 24, 2017
  6. Leipzig does not get any flights to New York , accessed on June 19, 2017
  7. ^ Production List Search. Retrieved June 1, 2018 .
  8. - PIA's Network , accessed August 30, 2016
  9. - Codeshare Partners , accessed on August 30, 2016
  10. ^ PIA Pakistan International Airlines Fleet Details and History. Retrieved March 26, 2020 (English).
  11. ^ Boeing - Orders & Deliveries , accessed December 8, 2016
  12. - PIA signs contract for lease of three A-330s, July 29, 2016 (English), accessed on August 30, 2016
  13. - Aircraft Seating Configuration , accessed on August 30, 2016
  14. ^ Ulrich Klee, Frank Bucher et al .: jp airline-fleets international . Zurich Airport 1967–2007.
  15. ^ Ulrich Klee, Frank Bucher et al .: jp airline-fleets international . Sutton, UK, 2008-2013.
  16. Accident statistics Pakistan International Airlines - PIA , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on June 10, 2017.
  17. ^ Accident report B-720 AP-AMH , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on August 17, 2017.
  18. ^ Accident report B-707 AP-AWZ , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on June 10, 2017.
  19. Shabbir Mir: 27 years on, flight PK-404 still a mystery. In: The Tribune. August 29, 2016, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  20. ^ Accident report F-27-200 AP-BBF , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on November 13, 2018.
  21. The Most Mysterious Airplane Crash of All Time. In: November 8, 2018, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  22. Accident report A300 AP-BCP , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on September 20, 2019.
  23. ^ Accident report F-27-200 AP-AUR , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on June 10, 2017.
  24. ^ Accident report F-27-200 AP-BAL , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on June 10, 2017.
  25. Reuters - Gunmen fire on plane at Pakistan's Peshawar airport, June 24, 2014 (English)
  26. - Shots at Airbus kill passenger, June 24, 2014
  27. Flight Pk-661 over Pakistan: crash with 42 passengers. Article in the Nordwest-Zeitung of December 7, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2016.
  28. Crash: PIA AT42 near Havelian on Dec 7th 2016, engine failure. Article in the Aviation Herald on December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  29. Unlucky flight PK8303: Airbus A320 crashes in Karachi on residential area. In: aeroTELEGRAPH. May 22, 2020, accessed on May 22, 2020 (Swiss Standard German).
  30. Pakistan International Airlines says EU agency suspends its European authorization. In: REUTERS. June 30, 2020, accessed on July 1, 2020 .
  31. EASA prohibits PIA from entering EU airspace. In: AEROBUZZ. June 30, 2020, accessed July 1, 2020 .