This article is air transport of Pakistan. It discusses important aspects of air transport e.g. private and public sector airlines, domestic and international destinations, service delivery both in terms of passenger traffic and cargo operation, etc.
The term ‘Air transport’ refers to all such man-made devices and structures that are used for the travel and carriage of goods through the air. For instance, airplanes, helicopters, jetfighters, hot balloons, parachutes, gliders, etc.
Air Transport of Pakistan
Pakistan has an extensive network of both domestic and international airports. All small and big towns and cities are connected through these airports. Both public and private sector airlines operate within and outside the country.
Private sector airlines
At the moment there is a number of airlines that operate both on domestic and international routes. Some of the examples of private airlines are Shaheen Airlines, AirBlue, Shaheen Airlines, Serene Airlines. Aero Asia Airlines.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the only public sector airline operating in the country. It has been dominating almost all domestic and international flights being operated within and outside Pakistan. PIA operates more than 36 and around 55 domestic and international destination-bound flights respectively.
PIA was established in 1955 with the merger of Orient Airways with Pakistan Airways with an aim to give quality air transport services.
PIA’s domestic operations
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) covers almost all major towns and cities of Pakistan including inaccessible areas in north-western mountain ranges. The major cities with operations facilities include Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Quetta, Sukkur, and Multan. Major towns with airports include Larkana, D.I.Khan, Benazirabad (Nawabshah), Jacobabad, Mianwali, Bannu, Kohat. PIA operates flights from Islamabad to the major districts in Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan i.e. Gilgit, Skardu, Chitral, Zhob, Panjgur, Pasni, Khuzdar, Turbat, Jiwani. Flights to these areas depending upon the weather conditions as due to high mountains it becomes very difficult and risky to operate flights to these areas.
PIA’ International Destinations
PIA operates in most of the countries of Europe. The major destinations within Europe include United Kingdom, France, Russia, Italy, and Germany. It also covers major cities of the United State of America i.e. New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc. In the Middle East, the national flag carrier operates its flights to and from UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. Last but not the least, its international destinations in the East and Far east include India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China.
PIA’s Cargo operations
Though more than 90% of PIA’s service delivery relates to passenger traffic it also caters to cargo needs both within and outside the country. The cargo includes fragile items such as meat, medicines, laboratory equipment, vegetables, etc. which require quick carriage.
At present, there are 12 airports for the operation of international flights. These airports are in Karachi, Gwadar, Quetta, Turbat, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, and D.I.Khan. The recently developed is Islamabad Airport which caters to the needs of both domestic and international operations.
Who is responsible for the management and development of civil aviation in Pakistan?
The civil Aviation Authority looks after the management and development of civil aviation in the country.