Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday inaugurated AirSial – Pakistan’s new private airline. Launched in Pakistan’s famous industrial city of Sialkot, the airline is the initiative of the city’s business community. This is the third private airline in Pakistan after Airblue and Serene Air.
With its current fleet of three Airbus A320-200s, AirSial will begin operations with regular flights to and from Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot and Peshawar before expanding operations. The airline hopes to embark on its international journey in two years.
AirSial to help improve aviation industry
PM Khan congratulated the vibrant business community of Sialkot for their dedicated efforts for Pakistan by first launching Sialkot International Airport, the country’s first privately-owned public airport, and now a private airline service. The new airline would create a culture of healthy competition in the aviation industry, offer improved services and bring down fares, the premier hoped.
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. The city’s businessmen also funded the Sialkot Airport, completed in 2007 at a cost of approximately Rs4billion.
Khan lauded the initiative of Sialkot city businesspersons to set up an airport to boost trade and business activities and support exporters and business community. He expressed optimism that AirSial would greatly benefit the people of Sialkot and “help Sialkot emerge as export centre of Pakistan.”
Ameen Ahsan, CEO of AirSial, envisaged the airline to become an “important multiplier of economic activity” in Pakistan’s national economy. The airline will give a boost to the aviation sector while creating jobs, strengthening economy and contributing to foreign exchange, he said.
PM vows full support to business community
During the visit, the prime minister also interacted with the business community of Sialkot city, famous for producing the world’s finest quality footballs and sports goods. He offered full support to the businessmen and promised to resolve their issues. He asked Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar and Commerce Adviser Razzak Dawood to stay in touch with the business community and keep him personally informed of the challenges being faced by businessmen. Khan also announced support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are crucial for job creation and economic development. Pakistan government is currently focused on promoting business and trade interests by enabling business-friendly environment. The PTI government has pledged new packages for the industrial and construction sectors including the Rs13 billion package for Faisalabad to revive the country’s textile hub after 30 years.
Pakistan private airlines
AirSial, Airblue and Serene Air are not the only private airlines launched in Pakistan during the past decades. However, other private airlines, including Shaheen Air, Bhoja Air and Air Indus, were all forced to suspend operations either due to financial crisis or not fulfilling Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements.