Friday, 22 November 2019

New Pakistan, New PIA

LONDON: Pakistan International Airlines commonly referred by PIA is the national flag carrier of Pakistan is a success story in 2019. Although, during the past few years major commercial airlines and global aviation industry has suffered badly due to skyrocketing fuel prices, decrease in air travel and Volcanic Ash over Europe blocking air space.

PIA continued being the airline of choice by Pakistanis operating on modern commercial concepts, capable of competing in the best International and Domestic markets consistently exceeding customer expectations. PIA was established in 1954 after merger of Orient airways. PIA started its regular service on May 10 the same year. It was formed into a corporation on 11th March 1955. The PIAC act was incorporated on 18th April 1956 under the PIAC Act 1956. Same year engineering department was formed and the first Super – Constellation Engine was overhauled in house.

In the United Kingdom, PIA flies to and from Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, and London with most flying to Karachi Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. Pakistan International Airline’s loyalty program, Awards +Plus, allow passengers to earn and spend points earned flying with Pakistan International Airlines or use PIA’s partnered companies (such as car hire companies, other airlines, and hotels).


PIA has introduced new destinations such as Barcelona and Frankfurt, direct flights to USA and Canada with better services on board for convenience of the passengers, reducing their travel time. Furthermore twice weekly flights from Islamabad to Leeds/Bradford started twice weekly service to Glasgow. City of Sialkot has also been linked to Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi and the airline’s two weekly Istanbul flights extended to Amsterdam. Besides, the airline also generates revenue through Charter Business. PIA plans to increase frequencies of flights and introduction of new routes keeping in view the demand and other associated factors.

E-ticketing facility has also been introduced, now 99 percent of PIA’s network shifted to electro ticketing from paper ticketing. Web ticketing has also been introduced for major domestic flights and over 60 percent of all international stations have also been enabled for web ticketing in 2009. Similar arrangements are under process for remaining international locations.

PIA every 5 year carries out major maintenance and refurbishing of its existing fleet. New livery design has been approved by PIA Board of Director under which 39 aircrafts of the fleet are being decorated with National Flag and Pakistan will be boldly written on the belly to be readable at lower heights during landing and take-off. Golden strip added to the existing streak of Beige and Green Colour. The Livery change is being done in-house by PIA’s engineering department.

PIA Premier was launched as a luxury air service on 14 August 2016. There were six weekly flights to London, three each from Islamabad and Lahore.  Airbus A330 aircraft.

PIA as our National carrier is a source of Pride for every Pakistani. It has all required resources, expertise to stand out among the global airlines. The right planning, motivation, clear vision and the passion of the present management and employees is determined to maintain PIA flying high in the sky with the slogan “Great People to fly with”.

I am a frequent traveller on PIA and on average make 6-9 trips to Lahore from the UK. I am extremely happy to state that since May this year PIA has made huge leaps in improving its impression and quality of services offered to its passengers. I was welcomed with a very warm smile and made to feel comfortable immediately whilst entering the aircraft by the crew. I found the aircraft to be thoroughly clean and the new fleet of carriers to be very comfortable. We were provided with pillows and blankets without having to request for one.

The in-flight entertainment displayed enormous improvement offering a wide range of selection material to choose from in English and Urdu. There was also the facility to utilize the Wi-Fi facility which has been recently added, enhancing the flying experience.

As our National carrier PIA is a source of Pride for every Pakistani. It has all required resources, expertise to stand out among the global airlines. The right planning, motivation, clear vision and the passion of the present management and employees is determined to maintain PIA flying high in the sky with the slogan “Great People to fly with” London  to Lahore.

I found the cabin crew to be thoroughly professional whilst being extremely courteous, and I would like to mention Mr Shahid Zafar (senior purer), Ms Sadaf Nizamani (flight purser) and Ms Um-E-Kulsoom of the cabin crew. This visit was due to a family bereavement and these people took into account the sentiments of travelling whilst in grievance, and made my flight absolute pleasure.

There was a choice of meals with western or Pakistani options. I personally opted for a Pakistani meal, which I found to be scrumptious and appetizing. Beverages included non-alcoholic drinks and hot tea or coffee. Toilets throughout the duration of the flight were kept to satisfactory hygiene standard. Prior to landing we were offered continental breakfast with juice and coffee. Undoubtedly I would state that this was the most memorable flying experience with PIA and the in-flight entertainment accompanied by comfortable seats made the 7-8 hour flight very enjoyable. I would highly recommend people to go and experience it.

 

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