PIA – Pakistan International Airlines – from Zenith to Nadir

March 6, 2007

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Recent sanctions imposed by EU on PIA flights has reminded me golden days of Pakistan International Airlines.

PIA, when started its international flights on 1st Feb 1955 from Karachi to London via Cairo – it seemed that not only a super constellation plane has took off but the fortune of Pakistani economy has taken off as well.

Here are some highlights of PIA’s glorious past

  • PIA – First Asian airline to start Jet flights.
  • PIA – First Non-Communist airline to land in PRC (China).
  • PIA – First to connect Europe with Asia via Moscow.
  • PIA – The first airline to show in-flight movies on international routes.
  • PIA – Amongst the very first to have IBM Computers – IBM 1401 – FIRST COMPUTER in PAKISTAN —- back in 1967.
  • PIA – The first airline from an Asian land country and the first airline from a Muslim country to fly the Super Constellation.
  • PIA – The first Asian airline to be granted maintenance approval by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Air Registration Board, predecessor of the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
  • PIA – The first airline in Asia to induct the new technology Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
  • PIA – The first airline to introduce a second route to People’s Republic of China over the mighty Karakoram mountains. 
  • PIA – PIA set up Pakistan’s first planetarium at Karachi.
  • PIA – The first airline in South Asia to introduce auto-ticketing facility.
  • PIA – The first airline in the world to fly to Tashkent, capital of the newly independent state of Uzbekistan.
  • PIA – First airline in the world to start Air Safari with jet aircraft.
  • PIA – First Asian airline to start flights to Oslo, the beautiful capital city of Norway.
  • PIA – First airline in the world to induct Boeing 777-200LR, the world’s longest range commercial airliner.
  • PIA – First airline in South Asia to offer the facility of seat reservation through mobile phone

It was an era – when Karachi was the gateway to Asia – more than 4 dozens airlinesused to send their air-crafts for refuelling, overhauling & maintenance in Karachi.

More than 3 tens of airlines used to send their crew to Karachi for training purposes.

PIA Air-hostesses used to costume themselves with Pierre Cardin & and they also used to SMILE.

BUT Now– we hear that on Oslo Airport in Norway – PIA’s Captain was arrested ‘flying’ courtesy heavy drinking a few moment before actual flight and was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

PIA suspends its entire crew on same basis in Toronto.

80% of PIA air-crafts can not land in entire EU. What a shame.

and now the the slogan ‘Great people to fly with’ has changed to ‘Come & fly with us’

to know more of its glorious past History of PIA

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