Four new private airlines operators have applied for the issuance of the Regular Public Transport (RPT) Airline Licence to Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.
The names of these operators are:
- Askari Air Pakistan
- United Airways Pakistan Limited (Air Pakistan)
- Liberty Air
- Afeef Zara Airways
Aviation Division revealed that issuance of licences to the private airlines in the country is an ongoing process. Any private airline in the country can apply for the licence.
The applications for the RPT Licences are processed in accordance with Civil Aviation Rules (CARs) 1994 and National Aviation Policy (NAP)-2015 for consideration of the competent authority.
The Division has recently issued RPT licence to M/s Air Sial Limited on 5th September 2017 to conduct RPT operations in Pakistan.
The lawmakers in Senate raised several questions as they were skeptical that the Askari Air Pakistan – venture may be undertaken by Fauji Foundation.
The lawmakers kept asking whether the airlines belonged to Fauji Foundation – one of the largest financial services and one of the largest energy conglomerates with interests in fertilizer, cement, food, power generation, gas exploration, LPG marketing and distribution, financial services, employment services, and security services.
But the minister for parliamentary affairs Sheikh Aftab had no idea whether the airlines belonged to Fauji Foundation or someone else. He assured the house said that he would inform the house after consulting the concerned department which had issued the license.
“I don’t know whether it belonged to the Fauji Foundation but I do know it is a private airline,” he added
Col (retd) Syed Tahir Mashhadi said that most of the businesses run by Fauji Foundation are being run through the title of Askari, and most probably the airlines also belongs to the same organization that is run by former officers of armed forces.
In reply to a question asked by PPP Senator Dr Karim Khawaja the minister it transpired that four private airlines had applied for licences to operate in the country.
Senator Farhatullah Babar who asked whether the Askari Air Pakistan was owned by the same outfit about which the Senate had been informed last year that it owned over fifty industrial, commercial, business and real estate enterprises throughout the country.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab who was replying on behalf of the Minister for Aviation said that he was unaware as to who owned but said that he will find out and revert to the House.
However, he said that licenses are processed in accordance with the Civil Aviation rules and the National Aviation Policy and that recently it had given license to Air Sial Limited last month to conduct operations in Pakistan.