PIA launches multiple new international routes

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has increased its flights to the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in order to improve its performance in the aviation sector, an official said.

“PIA has connected more cities to the UAE as it launched flights from Faisalabad and Multan to Dubai.The first flight from the Faisalabad-Dubai sector to fly on Thursday while the inaugural flight from Dubai to Multan landed on Monday.The flights will operate twice weekly," Athar Awan, PIA's Public Affairs Manager said in an interview with Arab News.

The launch of the new flights was celebrated at an inaugural ceremony at Dubai's Terminal 1, where Jamal Al Hai, Deputy CEO of Dubai Airports, welcomed Ghulam Dastagir, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE, Ahmed Amjad Ali, the Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai, and PIA's senior representatives on Monday.

“We have increased Pakistan to Dubai flights from 35 to 39 weekly and Pakistan to Abu Dhabi from 15 to 21 weekly with new flights from Islamabad, Peshawar, and Lahore," Awan said, adding that PIA had also increased the number of flights to Saudi Arabia.

“As for Jeddah, we added seven new flights which increased the weekly frequency from 35 to 42.

The airline started two weekly new flights from Quetta to Jeddah and increased its weekly frequency to Medina from 10 to 11 flights and Riyadh from 10 to 14 including 2 new weekly flights from Multan," he said.

Awan added that the new flights would be particularly beneficial for the business community in Faisalabad and residents of Pakistan's southern region as otherwise they would have had to catch a flight either from Lahore or Islamabad.

Pakistan is the fourth-largest market for Dubai in terms of passenger volume, with four airlines operating to eight destinations on a weekly basis, with passenger numbers between Dubai and Pakistan reaching two million in the first half of 2019.

“The Middle East is the most traveled region by Pakistanis, we are focusing more in this region," Awan said, adding that the entire fleet was operational now and that “the airline has started another new flight from Sialkot to Kuwait this week, in addition to another flight from Peshawar to Dammam with Peshawar to Abu Dhabi to be operational next month".