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Govt to Grant Air Safari Licenses to Private Airlines

The federal government is considering launching air safari to tourist destinations in collaboration with the private sector to boost the tourism industry in Pakistan.

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Under the initiative, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will issue licenses to private airline operators to start the air safari in line with the National Aviation Policy 2019.

According to details, the license will be valid for five years and the CAA will be required to process the license requests from private airlines within 60 days.

The private airlines will be exempted from the landing, housing, and air navigation charges on both ends of the routes of the air safari.

The holders of the license will be able to operate air safari to and from top tourism destinations including Gwadar, Moenjodaro, Skardu, Chitral, and Gilgit.

Besides, the CAA will also support the development of new landing strips in remote areas through joint ventures or a public-private partnership model to expand the routes of the air safari.

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Pakistan’s Air Safari Industry

PIA used to operate an air safari service in the country and it remained an extremely popular service till the mid-2000s as a large number of tourists came to the country to visit its major tourist destinations.

However, the air safari was suspended due to low demand as the number of tourists coming to Pakistan decreased significantly due to a bleak law and order situation.

In 2018, PIA resumed the air safari after the security situation in the country improved and the number of tourists visiting the country increased.

Earlier this year in May, PIA renamed its safari service as “Sadpara Air Safari,” after the prominent mountaineer, Ali Sadpara, who lost his life along with two international mountaineers during their quest to conquer K2 in February this year.

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