Revival of PIA will grow up tourism and regional connectivity.


Byline: Ahsan Nisar

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Etihad Airways has recently re-launched codeshare partnership to access un-serviced markets and provide customers with clearer routing. The arrangement will provide customers with access to both airlines' trunk routes between the UAE and Pakistan, and on Etihad services across its global network.

The partnership would see Etihad Airways place its 'EY' code on PIA services to and from Abu Dhabi to Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. PIA would place its 'PK' code on Etihad services from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore to Abu Dhabi and vice versa, and also onwards from the UAE capital to Amsterdam, Bahrain, Colombo Chicago, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid, Moscow, Washington DC, and Zurich. This will be a great opportunity for PIA to join hands with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, connecting Pakistan to UAE and around the globe, expanding reach to more destinations for the convenience of passengers.

The relationship between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates has always been a strong one as both countries share historical, commercial and cultural links and this partnership with PIA is a natural progression for both carriers. In future, PIA's services would be expanded to Amman, Athens, Brisbane, Melbourne, Nairobi, Rome and Sydney. Etihad Airways has been serving Pakistan since November 2004, and currently operates two daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Islamabad, 11 weekly flights to Lahore, and a daily service to Karachi. PIA has been serving Abu Dhabi for more than three decades and flies seven weekly flights each from Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar.

PIA is one of the oldest and most experienced airlines in Asia. It has entered into similar code-sharing arrangements with Turkish Airlines and Mauritius Airlines as well. Revival of PIA is among government's top most priorities. A number of reforms in the operations of the national flag carrier have been undertaken after which a considerable decrease in the operational losses has been achieved. In addition to increasing PIA's regular flights by 48, two new aircrafts had been included in the organization's fleet. However, there is still need to further improve the performance of PIA. Some of the steps that have been taken to boost revenues are as under:

* Introduction of new profitable routes including Sialkot-Sharjah, Islamabad-Doha, Lahore-Muscat, Sialkot-Paris, Sialkot-Barcelona, Multan-Sharjah...

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