Pakistan International Airlines is extending the current Tokyo to Islamabad flight to Jinnah International airport Karachi from today. This flight is currently operated via Beijing from Islamabad. With increasing number of Chinese travellers as well as travellers from Pakistanis who are travelling from Pakistan to China there is increased demand.
At present, the national flag carrier is operating two flights in a week on this route and this move would benefit those travelers who intend to go Karachi from China. The number of passengers from both Pakistan and China has increased manifold after the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
An increasing number of students and businessmen are also travelling from Pakistan to China and back. PIA is providing 17 per cent discount to Pakistani students studying in China and students up to 40 years of age are availing this facility. PIA is going to follow Air China that flies from Beijing to Islamabad and then goes to Karachi and back to Beijing. PIA is the only airline that is providing 40-kg baggage facility to its customers.
PIA is also planing to launch flights to the Chinese city of Guangzhou. Currently China Southern airline flies from Guangzhou to Islamabad and Labour. While Shaheen air flies to Guangzhou from Lahore.
China Southern Airlines, which is one of the big three airlines in China is planning to expand its operation to Pakistan this year. The airline that was always seen at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto airport with its Boeing 757 the provided a vital connection to the capital of China’s Uygur autonomous region, Urumqi. Under new plans, the airline is planning to start flights to Urumqi from Lahore and then flights to Guangzhou in July.
China Southern currently flies to Pakistani capital six times a week minus Friday. The airline plans to start direct flights from Lahore to Urumqi from 21st June 2018. There will be two weekly flights in the beginning, on Thursdays and Sundays. Later in July, the airline will start flights to Guangzhou, China competing directly with Shaheen Air international on the route.
The airline has replaced its Boeing 757s on Islamabad route with modern Boeing 737-800 and the same equipment will be used on the Lahore route. Interestingly Shaheen Air International flights to Guangzhou are also operated on Thursdays and Sundays.
It will be interesting to see more traffic towards China as Serene Air also showed interest in launching flights to the Chinese city.