New airlines: PIA protests as skies get crowded

Published: January 2, 2012
CAA grants approval for commercial operations to two new carriers.

CAA grants approval for commercial operations to two new carriers. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

KARACHI: The country’s aviation regulator has allowed two airline companies to operate passenger flights, prompting reservations from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which said the approval will only enhance losses of the national flag carrier that is mired in deep financial crisis.

Indus Airlines is a new carrier that is among the two companies granted approval by the Civil Aviation Authority. PIA has demanded that Indus Airlines’ licence be cancelled.

Sources say Indus Airlines’ application for provision of space for an office and a hanger is also in the final stages of approval. After the new licences, the total number of airlines authorised to operate on commercial basis is six, including PIA, Air Blue, Shaheen Air, Indus Air, Bhoja Air and Pearl Air.

Bhoja Air’s licence expired last year, sources say, but has now been renewed. It is mandatory now for the airline to start its operations, sources add.

In a letter to the CAA, PIA has requested the regulator to cancel Indus Airlines’ licence, granted a year ago, citing financial and technical problems for the national carrier.

At present, two airlines are operating successfully in the private sector including Air Blue and Shaheen Air.

According to sources, however, Indus Airlines has already acquired an office at the Jinnah International Airport, which is not operational yet. The company has hinted that it plans to start its operations by mid-March. Sources add that the company has hired executive officers from PIA as well as other airlines, but has not yet decided about the types of aircraft it will induct in its fleet.

The name of the new airline’s chief has not been announced yet.

A spokesperson for Indus said the airline is a consortium of various companies, has acquired offices and is hiring staff in different departments.

The airline will host an inauguration ceremony soon where further details will be provided to the media, the spokesperson added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd,  2012.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Hafeez
    Jan 2, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Great job by CAA. Let the competition make life easier for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jan 2, 2012 - 10:20AM

    Expected response from PIA.,,
    There is a saying that neither I will play nor allow others to play.
    PIA needs to pur their acts together. PIA is inefficient, over-staffed, and most of the new hirings are political motivated. There is an urgent need for a big overhaul for PIA.


    Jan 2, 2012 - 10:46AM

    Wao, PIA asked Govt to cancel licence of Indus Air….Look who is talking..


  • Arif
    Jan 2, 2012 - 11:33AM

    So this is why PIA has been looted so ruthlessly for the last few years..


  • Omer
    Jan 2, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Such blatant exhibition of incompetence by PIA is disgraceful.


  • KiJ
    Jan 2, 2012 - 12:07PM

    instead of protesting, PIA should put its house in order… someone has to fill the gap created by PIA… either close your shop or face the challenge!


  • Not me
    Jan 2, 2012 - 12:38PM

    PIA should improve it’sown services and efficiency rather than screaming like a small child. These unions in PIA have destroyed PIA which once was pride of the nation


  • Hamid
    Jan 2, 2012 - 12:47PM

    This is thw ‘why’ PIA was willfully defaulted


    Jan 2, 2012 - 12:47PM

    PIA PROTESTS??? PIA has been destroyed deliberately just to bring these private airlines favoring family and friends.


  • Jan 2, 2012 - 12:51PM

    Isn’t Indus Airline is the one about which rumours were floating around that it belongs to Faryal Talpur


  • Chilli
    Jan 2, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Its better to gid rid of PIA as this is nothing but a burden on tax payers. Private Airlines are going well so far.


  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 2, 2012 - 1:10PM

    Great news! New investment that results in more jobs for PK people and competition that reduces travel costs again for the people of PK could only be a good thing. It’s a tough world out there, PIA needs to get its act together or make room for profitable businesses that help our economy. Period


  • Malik
    Jan 2, 2012 - 1:16PM

    I’m not sure, why PIA even is asking the ‘Govt’ , must be just for the record or to make public fool once again!!


  • Ali
    Jan 2, 2012 - 3:05PM

    PIA itself should be privatised… it would run better if they had to make a profit!


  • Truth
    Jan 2, 2012 - 4:37PM



  • Ihsan
    Jan 2, 2012 - 5:02PM

    This is really good. PIA should learn to compete.


  • Observer
    Jan 2, 2012 - 5:12PM

    takeout PIA and let Indus fly in … Hats off Mr. President .. you are truly a visionary with skills to create major crisis and offer a minor solution to make more money.Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2012 - 6:03PM

    This Indus Airline will soon become Pakistan Indus Airline (read PIA)
    Democracy Khapay!


  • Truth
    Jan 2, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Nations are proud of their flagship airlines and feel a sense of ownership. Pakistan is the only country which treats it’s national assets as a loot. Whether its PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel. Why not put Pakistan in sale once for all or bring Army back.


  • Saleem
    Jan 2, 2012 - 11:50PM

    On December 31, my wife flew from Lahore to New York on PIA. That flight has more than 100 seats empty. A month before she was to fly we purchased the ticket and have very hard time to get her seat booked as flight was supposedly full. How can PIA justify flying with one-third plane empty at busiest time of the year? It should have reduced price of the ticket to fill the seats. Anything is better than flying an empty seat. Someone at PIA must answer how that happened and heads who were responsible for mismanagement must roll.


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 3, 2012 - 1:21AM

    Indus Ailrine’s new Chief Executive is no one except the buddy of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari i.e. Mr. Ijaz Haroon, who was previously posted as Chief Executive of PIA and then his services were transferred to Civil Aviation due to the agitation of PIA union and workers.


  • frequent flyer
    Jan 3, 2012 - 2:48AM

    To all those quick to welcome competition, let me remind them that competition only works in a free market situation- When the top management of PIA is handpicked and placed in the structure with the very intention to crumble the institution, and where other airlines foray into the market might seem like competition to most, one must realize that they are in fact opportunists that have slyly enabled the speedy rot of a national institution.
    And unfortunately, we have developed the mass culture of materialism- and like we threw Pakistan steel and the railways in the dumps and eagerly awaited the profit rendering alternative, we are about to make another similar mistake.


  • tahseen
    Jan 3, 2012 - 2:50AM

    Does anybody here know that indus airline is under the name of the sister of president zardari, faryal talpur


  • saad
    Jan 7, 2012 - 7:57PM

    At the same time, PIA higher officials are hired in Indus. What does that hint you?!?

    “..Sources add that the company has hired executive officers from PIA ..”

    Corruption all over for private gains.


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