Pakistan is all set to welcome as many as five new airlines within one year. The five airlines planning to launching operations in Pakistan are:
- Afeef Zara Airways
- Askari Air
- Air Sial
- Go Green
- Liberty Air
The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Shahzad Dada said:
Air traffic has surged by over 40% within last five years to approximately 20 million passengers.
Muhammad Afsar Malik, former Additional Director of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said that the current surge in demand shows that the open skies policy has been fruitful for Pakistanis.
As per the reports, the new airlines will cover these routes:
Growth Rate of Pakistan’s Aviation Sector could touch 9% per year and could continue till 2020: The International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Routes like Gwadar, Skardu, and Turbat will help the airlines make huge profits due to emergence of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Mr. Malik, Ex-CAA Additional Director, said that Pakistan’s domestic air traffic saw a rise of 10% as compared to the international air traffic that stood at 4%.
He added that the airlines, due to competition in the sector, also decreased fares to attract more people. “The air ticket you got for Rs. 10,000 would have cost around Rs. 30,000,” he maintained.
The entry of new airlines, however, will add fresh challenges for the already struggling Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
The Gulf carriers, including UAE’s Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways, are already giving a tough time to PIA as these foreign carriers are providing better services and cheaper rates than PIA on international routes. Moreover, these carriers are state-funded.
PIA, on the other hand, is not ready to accept defeat just yet. PIA spokesperson, while responding to an email query, said, “Private airlines, especially foreign carriers, have mainly resorted to price cuts, instead of going more towards customer satisfaction in terms of comfort and improved services.”