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PIA going to commence flights to Turkey in August: CEO

PIA going to commence flights to Turkey in August: CEO

KARACHI: The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Air Marshal Arshad Malik, has unveiled a plan to commence flight operations to Turkey in August this year.

Arshad Malik sought the assistance of Pakistani Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi to play his role for the commencement of flight operations of the national carrier.

The PIA CEO sent a letter to the ambassador Qazi which stated that the national carrier decided to start operating flights to Turkey from August.

The resumption of flight operations needed the approval of Turkish aeronautical authority, whereas, the PIA management also wrote a letter to the administration of Sabiha Gokcen International Airport – Istanbul for the clearance of flight schedule, Malik said in his letter.

It also read that PIA had signed an agreement with the Pegasus Airlines of Turkey regarding the code-sharing of commercial flights. The implementation on the agreement was delayed due to the spread of coronavirus, he added.

Malik asked the embassy to assist the PIA management for the clearance of the flights’ schedule.

In February, the Turkish private company Pegasus Airlines on Saturday announced plans to launch flights to Pakistan.

According to a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Pegasus airline will launch flights to Pakistan from March 28.

The air transport department of CAA has issued an official travel notification to Turkish airline Pegasus for flight operation.  The Turkish carrier will fly between Karachi and Istanbul four times a week, said CAA in a statement.

The move comes following the Turkish President Erdogan’s successful visit to Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention here that Air Services Agreement between Pakistan and Turkey had been signed in 1972. Under the agreement, PIA and Air Blue were operating in Turkey while Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines were working in Pakistan. Moreover, the last memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed on Oct 20 – 2015.

Under another agreement between the aviation sectors of the two countries, PIA will continue its operations in Istanbul, Ankara and 4 other points while designated airlines of Turkey will be operational in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Faislabad, Quetta and Sialkot.

Designated airlines of each country were allowed to operate 47 flights. This includes 14 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Karachi, 6 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Lahore,7 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Islamabad, 4 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Faislabad,4 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Quetta and 4 weekly frequencies between Istanbul and Sialkot.