Pakistani cargo airline Rayyan Air has signed an agreement with Pakistan International Airline to charter one of its Boeing 777 for its cargo operations. Rayyan Air will operate cargo flights using this 777 from Pakistan mainly Islamabad to Urumqi in China. The aircraft will be used by Rayyan Air for four months. Rayyan Air has an air operator certificate alongside a charter license for passenger, cargo, and charter operations. PIA will provide one of its Boeing 777 which is likely to be AP-BMH, AP-BGK, or AP-BGJ.
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In the past, the airline has operated charter flights as well as cargo flights. It used to regularly fly cargo between Urumqi and Islamabad using a Boeing 747-200F. The airline acquired its first Boeing 747-200F in September 2009 and registered it as AP-BIB. This aircraft was returned in June 2013 and another 747-200 AP-BKS was acquired in May 2013. This aircraft was kept till August 2016. In June 2010 the airline acquired its third Boeing 747-200F and registered it in Pakistan as AP-BIO and used it till April 2014. Rayyan Air’s fourth Boeing 747-200 was received in March 2012 but it was scrapped in 2014.
The airline started flights from Islamabad to Kashgar on 14 August 2013. PIA Airbus A310-300 aircraft used to perform once a week flight every Wednesday on this route. The Islamabad to Kashgar flight was PK-1855 and the return flight was PK-1856. The airline continued flying on this route for the next three years. But due to the US sanctions the airline ceased operations in 2016 and the flights to Kashgar were dropped. The sanctions were apparently for flying to Syria. At the same time, a Greek cargo airline Aerospace One was also blacklisted has shut down too.
The airline management claims that it challenged the sanctions in a US court and successfully got them overturned.