is given a lot of importance in the world. In Pakistan too, it has its
importance. It is essential to have air communication for maintaining
and improving relations with other countries. Access to some areas of our
country is only possible through airways. Keeping in view the growing
industrial and commercial requirements of the country, it is necessary to
develop quick and speedy means of communication.
Formation of PIAC
serves to provide a summary of the History of PIA (PIAC or Pakistan
International Airlines Corporation), Pakistan's national flag carrier. The
roots of PIA date to pre-partition, since it acquired Orient Airways, which
was the creation of Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. On the advice of the
Quaid, who realised partition of the Sub-continent was inevitable, Orient
Airways, the First Muslim owned airline, was founded in Calcutta, 1946 by Mr
In 1951 the government realised that the Pakistan needed a National Flag
carrier; it ordered three Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellations that year
and the concept of PIA was established. PIA flew its first service from
Karachi to Dacca (now Dhaka) on 7th June 1954, linking the two wings of
the latter now being Bangladesh.
The acquisition of Orient Airways through Merger took place in April 1955.
Flight International's Survey of
10th April 1969
Thirty three years ago,
in Flight International's World Airline Survey, the publication had
summarized PIA as follows:-
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIA) was founded by the
Government of Pakistan on March 11, 1955, when PIA took over Orient Airways.
As a company PIA had been founded in 1951 and its first operations were
between East and West Pakistan in June 1954. A service to
was begun in early 1955. The Corporation is responsible for the operation of
all services within Pakistan, including airbus services and feeder services
in East and West
regional services to
Katmandu, Rangoon and
Kabul. An eleven times-weekly service between
is operated via points in the Middle East and Europe, and via Moscow. PIA
also operates services to Bangkok, Canton and Shanghai and to Jeddah,
Nairobi, Dubai, Doha and to Bahrain and Kuwait. Short takeoff and landing (STOL)
aircraft are being considered as a replacement for the helicopter services
in East Pakistan.
International in the 70s and 80s
1974 PIA contracted Negus and Negus of London to re-design a new more
attractive livery that would be more favourably attributed to the Airline.
They came up with the Green and Gold livery, which had remained until the
late 80s/Very Early 90s.
PIA replaced it's infamous Green and Gold livery with a more
sporty one of Green, Moss Green and Turquoise stripes. It is said by PIA,
that this new theme is a sportier look, representing the active
participation and sponsorship of
In 1999, PIA acquired five Ex-Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-367s to replace the
older series 747s operating on Long-Haul International routes. Though some
of the older 747s still operate such as in mixed configuration.
currently seeking New Aircraft to extend it's fleet, interest lies in the
Airbus A340, More 747-367s or the Wide body 777. Whilst at the time of
writing the exact purchase plans have not been concreted, many will welcome
further evolution of the National Flag carrier.
services are available to large cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad,
Peshwar, Multan, Hyderabad, Sukkar, and Quetta. Some intermediate-size towns
have also been linked like Nawabshah, Jacobabad, Mianwali, Banu, Kohat and
Dera Ismail Khan. It also links small places, which have transport
difficulties like Gilgit, Chitral, Skardu. Zhob, Khuzdar, Panjgur, Pasni,
Gwador, Turbat, and Jiwani and important historical places like Moen-jo-daro.
It has wide links outside Pakistan and links many European countries like
UK, Germany, France, Italy, Russia etc. It goes to the USA and also connects
most of the countries of the Middle East and a few African countries. It
goes to India, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka,
Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Japan. The result of this expansion has been
that the number of passengers and cargo handled by PIA has greatly
increased. In 1955-56 PIA carried 1.1 million passengers, which more than
doubled in five years’ time. After a slight setback during 1971-74 the
passenger traffic has steadily increased and was about 4 million in 1985-86.
The international traffic has registered a more phenomenal growth. The
passenger load factor fluctuates between 55-65%.
Since 1970 for Pakistan International Airlines
The following events
are those involving at least one passenger death where the aircraft flight
had a direct or indirect role. Excluded would be events where the only
passengers killed were stowaways, hijackers, or saboteurs.
August 1970; Pakistan International Airlines F27; Islamabad, Pakistan:
The aircraft entered a steep dive and crashed about three minutes after a
night takeoff in poor weather. All four crew members and 26 passengers were
31 December 1970;
Pakistan International Airlines F27; East Pakistan:
The aircraft lost altitude and impacted about 300 feet (90 meters) short
of the runway. Seven of the 31 passengers were killed.
Pakistan International Airlines F27; near Jalot, Pakistan:
The aircraft struck high ground during a flight under deteriorating
weather conditions. All five crew members and 28 passengers were killed.
26 November 1979;
Pakistan International Airlines 707-300; near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
A fire developed in the rear of the passenger cabin about 18 minutes after
takeoff. During the emergency air turn back, the crew was incapacitated by
smoke and fumes and the aircraft crashed about 87 miles (140 km) from the
airport. The source of the fire was not determined, but the most probable
source was the ignition of fuel from a portable stove carried by a
passenger. All 11 crewmembers and 145 passengers were killed.
23 October 1986;
Pakistan International Airlines F27; near Peshawar, Pakistan:
The aircraft struck the ground about 2.5 miles (4 km) short of the runway
during a night approach. Six of the seven-crew members and 7 of the 47
passengers were killed.
25 August 1989;
Pakistan International Airlines F27; near Jalot, Pakistan:
The aircraft was reported missing after a flight through mountain valleys
and poor weather. All five crew members and 49 passengers were presumed
28 September 1992;
Pakistan International Airlines A300B4; near Katmandu, Nepal:
The crew was flying the aircraft was flying an approach about 1600 feet
(1000 meters) lower than planned when the aircraft collided with high
ground. The event happened in daylight and with cloud shrouding the
mountains. All 12 crew and 155 passengers were killed.
By Usama Ahmed Khan
GR No. 21098
Date of preparation: 11-10-2002
Date of submission: 14-10-2002