Pakistan’s third private airline AirSial
Pakistan’s third private airline, AirSial, launched by Sialkot’s business community, is all set to start operations. Image Credit: AirSial

Islamabad: Pakistan’s industrial city of Sialkot, famous for producing the world’s finest quality football and sports goods, will soon have a new reputation – AirSial, its own private airline. Pakistan’s third private airline, AirSial, launched by Sialkot’s business community, is all set to launch operations this month. Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to formally launch the new airline on December 9 in Sialkot.

Three Airbus A320 leased by AirSial

Pakistani startup airline AirSial this week received its second aircraft, Airbus A320, at Sialkot Airport. The airline’s initial operations will rely on three Airbus A320-200s, which the airline has leased from AerCap, Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant. It will initially begin operations with regular flights between Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot and Peshawar. The airline hopes to embark on the international journey in two years with the Middle East as the first region and UAE the most preferred choice for airline’s first overseas service, aviation experts say.

AirSial – a project of Sialkot’s business community

AirSial that aims to “become the leading airline of the region” is the brainchild of members of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry after the successful launch of Sialkot International Airport – the first privately-owned public airport. The airport project, completed in 2007 at a cost of approximately Rs4 billion, was funded by 360 members of the business community. Sialkot city industrialists set a unique precedent to set up an airport to boost trade and business activities and support the city’s exporters and the business community.

Ameen Ahsan, CEO of AirSial, envisages the airline to become an “important multiplier of economic activity” in Pakistan’s national economy. The airline that will give a boost to the aviation sector supports PM Imran Khan’s vision to create jobs, strengthen the economy and contribute to foreign exchange, he said.

Pakistani designer to create new look for flight attendants

Airlines have a long history of engaging designers for staff uniform. In 1966, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crew wore the uniform designed by famous French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin – a design still remembered as an icon of elegance and chic.

For its cabin crew members’ uniforms, AirSial approached Pakistan’s top fashion designer and styling icon, Nomi Ansari. On its social media page, the airline thanked “Nomi Ansari for his tremendous and tireless effort in shaping uniforms to the international standards giving them the most modest image matching our culture and traditions”.

Pakistan private airlines

AirSial will be the third private sector airline to operate in Pakistan after Airblue and Serene Air. The country launched a few other private airlines during the past decades, including Shaheen Air, Bhoja Air and Air Indus – all of which were forced to suspend operations either due to financial crisis or not fulfilling Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements.