Shaheen Air plans to increase fleet size

Wants to add 10 aircraft by 2017, to start flights to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok

Our Correspondent April 20, 2016
Wants to add 10 aircraft by 2017, to start flights to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Shaheen Air International (SAI) announced its plans to spread its wings to new destinations and increase its fleet to 35 aircraft from the current number of 25 by 2017.

“Shaheen Air will start a flight to Kuala Lumpur from April 22 and to Bangkok from May 20,” said Shaheen Air Deputy Managing Director Faisal Rafique at an event titled, ‘Promoting Aviation in Pakistan’.

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“The carrier will also offer free visa services for Kuala Lumpur in a bid to increase traffic and usage. International flights would be operated from/to Karachi and Lahore,” he added.

The airline is expanding flight operations to several overseas destinations including Shanghai and other stations between the east and west.

Last week, the carrier started flying to/from Manchester. “After the addition of two new routes, SAI would be operating flights at 15 international destinations,” said another airline official, on the side-lines of the event.  As for the fleet, Rafique informed that ten more aircraft are to be inducted by December 2017, including two wide-body Airbus A330-200s and eight narrow-body aircraft.

“We are to receive one Airbus, A330-200 soon,” another official said, adding that the second would be received sometime around June.

“The Airbus would be operating on international routes to Manchester, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok,” said the official.

Speaking on the occasion, the Consul General of Malaysia Ismail Bakri said Shaheen Air would be the first airline in Pakistan to operate direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Karachi/Lahore.

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He said direct flights would strengthen people-to-people and business-to-business ties between the two countries.

The airline, which carries over 3.5 million passengers per annum, is Pakistan’s second largest national carrier and a popular choice for Hajj, Umrah and leisure and work trips, said a company hand-out.

“These improvements, apart from being beneficial to the airline would also help restore Pakistan name in the global aviation market,” it added. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th,  2016.

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