Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and Oriental Sky Aviation Ltd. signed a landmark cargo charter agreement, paving the way for direct and daily dedicated cargo flights between Pakistan and China.
The agreement was signed by General Manager Charters, PIA, and Managing Director, Oriental Sky Aviation, at PIA office. PIA CEO, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, and PIA Chief Commercial Officer, Ali Tahir Qasim, were also present at the signing.
As per the agreement, PIA will operate seven flights per week to Urumqi, China, with four flights a week originating from Islamabad and three from Lahore. It will be a one-of-its-kind operation as PIA has never operated daily cargo flights in this sector. PIA will be using A320 Airbuses for the said operations.
PIA Spokesperson, Abdullah Khan, said that during COVID -19, airlines across the globe saw an unprecedented surge in demand for air cargo. Many airlines across the world are converting their passenger planes to cargo freighters to take advantage of this situation, he said.
He informed that PIA is also aggressively pursuing this path and said, “We are evaluating and are on the lookout for opportunities to operate dedicated cargo flights to a number of sectors, specifically on China and Central Asian routes.” PIA is already operating passenger and cargo charters to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and Xi’an in China for different customers.
Speaking at the ceremony, CEO PIA, Arshad Malik, appreciated his commercial team for their initiatives to augment the existing revenue sources and thanked the MD of Oriental Sky Aviation, Rush Wang, for his patronage.
He said that with a daily connection, the trade and commerce between the two countries in the post-COVID scenario will be immensely facilitated and will help in normalcy after perhaps the most devastating year for commercial aviation worldwide.