Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday welcomed Air Arabia Group to Pakistan and wished it success in its partnership with local investors to establish a new Pakistani airline, Fly Jinnah.
“My government is committed to attracting investment in Pakistan's burgeoning travel and tourism sector which offers immense opportunities,” he tweeted.
Lakson Group, one of Pakistan’s leading business conglomerates, and Air Arabia Group, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) operator, announced on Friday their decision to form a joint venture to launch “Fly Jinnah”, Pakistan’s new airline.
The proposed joint venture will see the establishment of a low-cost passenger airline, serving domestic and international routes from Pakistan.
Fly Jinnah will serve the strategic vision of Pakistan’s travel and tourism sector and contribute to the country’s economic growth and job creation while providing Pakistanis with reliable and value-for-money air travel.
Lakson Group Chairman Iqbal Ali Lakhani said, “We are excited to partner with Air Arabia in launching Pakistan’s new low-cost carrier. Fly Jinnah will serve Pakistan’s travel and tourism sector and will play a constructive role in contributing to the nation’s economic growth.”
He added, “This partnership also reflects our commitment to support the development of Pakistan’s air transport sector while providing the citizens and visitors of the country with a new option of value-for-money air travel. Air Arabia enjoys a track record of reliable and efficient operations and we look forward to working closely towards launching and developing the new airline.”
Air Arabia Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani said, “We are delighted at Air Arabia Group to partner with Lakson Group on this joint venture to launch Pakistan’s new low-cost carrier.
“We are confident that Fly Jinnah will add value to the air transport sector of Pakistan and directly contribute to the local economy through job creation and the development of travel and tourism sector. We thank Lakson Group and the government of Pakistan for their trust and we look forward to working hand in hand to develop the new airline, which will serve as a new value-for-money air travel option for the country.”
Fly Jinnah will initially be based in Karachi, serving a range of domestic routes across Pakistan and then expand its route network internationally. The new carrier will follow the low-cost business model and provide its customer base with a reliable operation and value-driven product.
Work on securing the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) – which allows the airline to start operating – will commence shortly. More details about the launch date, fleet and destination network will be announced in due course.
According to IATA, the air transport industry, including airlines and its supply chain along with the tourism spend are estimated to support $3.3 billion of Pakistan’s GDP.
In total, 1% of the country’s GDP is supported by inputs to the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.
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