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Monday, December 4, 2023

PIA inducts two new A320s into its fleet

Pakistan's national carrier PIA has inducted two new Airbus 320s into its fleet, and the first one arrived in Pakistan today. This is part of PIA's fleet replacement program aiming to improve the customer experience and make travel more comfortable.

CEO Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik took to Twitter to announce the induction of a new A320 Airbus into its fleet.

He wrote, “By the grace of Almighty, after years of wait, PIA management humbly announces the induction of yet another A320 aircraft in its fleet.”

He thanked the Government of Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance while saying, “the aim is to improve productivity and provide enhanced travel services to our worthy guests.

Similarly, the National Carrier PIA also posted a video of the jet named “Vintage 2017”. The airline announced that the jet has arrived at the New Islamabad International Airport.

The tweet read the new induction is, “…part of PIA’s fleet replacement program that aims to provide better and much more comfortable travel experience to our valued customers.”

National media agency Dunya News reported earlier in the day that according to the spokesperson of the national carrier, PIA has secured two planes through tender and the second one will arrive in Pakistan in the coming days.

It is worth mentioning that in August, an out-of-service ATR aircraft of the national airline had fetched Rs8.3 million at auction.

The old plane parked at Gilgit airport was auctioned to a local scrap dealer. The plane’s engine and other parts were sold by weight, officials had reportedly said.

PIA touch down

Pakistan’s national carrier PIA became the first international airline to touch down in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan on Monday, reigniting hope of reconnection of Kabul to the rest of the world.

It was a “special flight”, to express goodwill to the neighboring country and to “strengthen humanitarian efforts”, PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan told CNN.

On the return flight to Pakistan’s capital, the plane had onboard around 70 people, mostly Afghans who were relatives of staffers with international organizations such as the World Bank, national media reported.

According to international media reports, several foreign journalists also took a round trip to Afghanistan, and PIA’s COO Jawad Zafar was also on board.

Read More: PIA cargo flight carrying WHO medical essentials lands in Mazar-i-Sharif

For the new Afghan government wishing to establish international legitimacy, these flights will prove to be another litmus test, as the Taliban group had earlier said that anyone wanting to leave the country shall be allowed to do so, given the required paperwork is complete.

A PIA spokesman said at had said the last weekend that the airline was keen to resume regular commercial services, but it was too soon to say how frequently flights between the two capitals would operate.

Jawad Zafar, the head of operations at PIA, told AFP on Monday: “This is a great moment for me after a long time since the change of the establishment in Kabul.”

Other than PIA, Qatar Airways has conducted several charter flight operations out of Kabul last week, evacuating majorly foreign nationals, and Afghans wanting to leave the country.