Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to ensure an air cargo quota of 1.5 tons for Faisalabad to Karachi flights.
The national flag carrier will also reduce the travel time from eight hours to 5.5 hours on the Faisalabad to Jeddah route, making it a direct/non-stop flight.
PIA District Manager Qaiser Iqbal conferred these decisions in a meeting with Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain.
Iqbal apprised the FCCI President about a series of PIA conferences that particularly focused on the air cargo shipment facility for Faisalabad.
The FCCI President welcomed PIA’s initiative to set aside 1.5 tons of air cargo quote on Faisalabad-Karachi flights from where the cargo will be dispatched to the international destinations.
Hussain underlined that as much as 1000 tons of air cargo is available in Faisalabad as per conservative estimates. Of this, only 400 tons are directly exported through the Faisalabad airport while the remaining was routed through Lahore and Sialkot airports, he said.
He further said that the allocation of 1.5-ton air cargo would help the national airline in the assessment of the air cargo facility with estimates of an increase in the near future.
Moreover, the initiative of enhancing the air cargo capacity can pave way for dedicated freight services from Faisalabad. “Currently, 500,000 people travel from the Faisalabad airport every year and we expect the number to jump to 800,000 within the next couple of years,” said Hussain.
The PIA District Manager told that they are working to start non-stop flights, as currently, Faisalabad-Jeddah flights stop at the Karachi airport for 1.5 hours for refueling. Doing so will cut down the travel time from eight hours to 5.5 hours.
Hussain appreciated the initiatives brought about by the PIA’s new management and asked the air carrier to start direct flights from Faisalabad to Dubai and London. There is ample passenger demand for such destinations, he added.