Pakistan latest airline startup Air Sial has received its second Airbus A320 today at Sialkot International Airport. The aircraft is leased from Irish leasing giant Aercap. The Aircraft is registered in Pakistan as AP-BOB. The airline plans to start scheduled flights from 4 cities in Pakistan. Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Sialkot will be served by the airline. This aircraft is 12 years and 7 months old.
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This aircraft is an ex Avianca El Salvador jet that took its first flight on 21 May 2008. It was delivered to TACA International Airlines which became Avianca El Salvador. The aircraft remained in South America with the same airline throughout its life. The aircraft took off on 3rd December from Phoenix Goodyear Airport to Portsmouth International Airport, USA for its delivery flight. From Portsmouth it flew to Reykjavik and next day from Reykjavik to Cairo, Egypt. Today it took off from Cairo for its final leg of delivery flight to Sialkot International Airport.
The first aircraft to join Air Sial fleet was an ex Air New Zealand Airbus A320 that is over 16 years old. It was delivered to Air New Zealand in September 2004 while it took its first flight on July 13, 2004. Its delivery flight took off from Phoenix Goodyear Airport (USA) via Portsmouth International Airport (USA) and Belfast International Airport Republic of Ireland and Cairo International Airport (Egypt). The airline now plans to start operation in December 2020 after several delays and deadlines have passed.
The airline signed agreement for the acquisition of 3 Airbus A320 aircraft. On 6 August 2019 Air Sial Executive Board Chairman Fazal Jillani signed an agreement with Aercap representatives. Fazal Jillani is CEO of Surgicon private limited and he is also a director at the Sialkot International Airport board.
Air Sial is planning to start operations from the past 5 years. The airline initially hinted on starting operations in the last quarter of 2016. As in 2016, its chairman Fazal Jillani said that “as many as 35 leading Overseas Pakistani investors have shown a keen interest in investing the grand project of “Air Sial” airline.” The airline was registered by the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as “Air Sial Limited” company. The company’s board of director appointed Sialkot based exporter Ameen Ehsan as the airline CEO, unanimously.
At the same time in 2016, the Air Sial management doubled the number of its directors from 100 to 200 following the growing demand of this project. Regardless of today’s agreement the final launch date of the airline is still not known as over the previous 3 years, it has given multiple dates but the launch never materialised. The latest date was May or June 2019 and we are in August. From various sources, the launch date is set in 2020 if everything goes to plan.