Air travel: ‘Allow Turkish airlines access to Lahore’

Published: March 20, 2012
CM Sharif asked PM Gilani that Turkish airlines be allowed flight operations from Allama Iqbal International Airport.

CM Sharif asked PM Gilani that Turkish airlines be allowed flight operations from Allama Iqbal International Airport.


Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has requested Prime Minister (PM) Yousaf Raza Gilani to allow air traffic rights to Turkish airlines from Lahore to Istanbul in order to make it easier for Turkish business people to visit the Punjab.

A copy of the letter Sharif wrote to the PM is available to The Express Tribune. The CM wrote that the Punjab government was collaborating with the Istanbul Municipality on various projects. Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) had inked a seven-year agreement with a Turkish company for collection and disposal of solid waste in the city while the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) has signed another agreement for a metro bus service.

These initiatives would result in greater exchange of visitors and air traffic from both countries. Islamabad and Karachi already have direct flights to Istanbul. Direct air service between Lahore and Istanbul would facilitate the business community. The CM asked Prime Minister Gilani that Turkish airlines be allowed flight operations from Allama Iqbal International Airport.

The Punjab government had sent a charter airplane to Karachi to transport a Turkish delegation led by Mayor of Istanbul Dr Kardir Topbas when he visited the city recently. An official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the government had shelled out Rs5million for the transport. The LWMC has signed an agreement with a Turkish company for the lifting and disposal of solid waste. The LWMC will pay $360 million to the company for seven years of service. As much as 1.9 million tons of waste is generated in the city and only 1.2 million was being lifted said, an official said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • z
    Mar 20, 2012 - 5:02AM

    Please Mr. PM do not accept Sharif’s petition. He is simply too bizarre. PIA is facing competition on all its routes while this Johnny wants to further erode PIA’s traffic and revenue prospects. Why does Johnny not get traffic rights for PIA only, as Turkey is a rich state and should have no qualms in sharing their Islamic wealth with lesser endowed relatives??? I guess this Johnny has no formal education: you can see that from the financial condition of the Punjab, which he runs as if Abba Jee gave the Punjab to them as a Jagir.


  • Tariq
    Mar 20, 2012 - 9:40AM

    This imbecile will do anything to score cheap political points. Kindly disregard his request Mr. PM.


  • JS
    Mar 20, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Totally agree with everything you said except for the fact that we should stifle all competition for PIA because they are a sacred cow. Why should all rational thinking and free market mechanisms be squashed for PIA?? infact, i believe the reason PIA is in such a dismal state is because they have enjoyed these special perks and they know, nomatter what…be it billions in financial losses, crappy old aircrafts, shady deals etc etc, the government will just clear the field for them. Third rate airline like PIA is so bizarrely managed they would get eaten alive in a second without the GoP backstopping them.


  • Zazi
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:02PM


    You said it. Not a holy cow, but PIA is being destroyed by missmanagement, interference of Pakistani state in policy making, staffing etc.. while subjecting it to open skies competition. Under these rules it cannot compete. With 180 million potential passengers any airline in Pakistan can be a success and should be if they were allowed to do profitable transportation business. That’s not the case and we all know why Individual interests want to destroy PIA, sell its lucratiive routes to other airlines for personal gain. Look at the patronage Dubai extends to Emirates and it has had one British management in place for the last 20 years with no interference in running Emirates. You think they could do this for PIA???


  • Mar 28, 2012 - 8:15AM

    If Uzbek Airways can touch Lahore and so many Gulf Airlines why not Turkish Airlines.


  • AK
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:16AM

    I agreed 100% with JS:


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