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December 3, 2020

PIA, Oriental Sky sign cargo charter agreement

Business

December 3, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Oriental Sky Aviation Ltd signed a landmark cargo charter agreement on Wednesday, paving the way for direct and daily dedicated cargo flights between Pakistan and China.

The instrument of agreement was signed between PIA’s General Manager Charters and MD Oriental Sky Aviation Rush Wang at the PIA offices. PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik and Chief Commercial Officer Ali Tahir Qasim were also present at the signing.

As per the agreement, PIA would operate seven weekly flights to Urumqi (China), with four flights a week originating from Islamabad and three flights from Lahore. This would be PIA’s first foray into this sector, as the national carrier has never operated daily cargo flights in the sector.

PIA would be using its Airbus A320s for the said operations.

On contact, PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Khan said that during Covid-19, airlines all across the globe have seen unprecedented surge in demand for air cargo and many airlines across the world were converting their passenger planes to cargo freighters, to take advantage of this situation.

“PIA is also aggressively pursuing this path and we are evaluating and on look out for opportunities to operate dedicated cargo flights to a number of sectors, specifically on China and Central Asian routes,” he added.

PIA has already been operating passenger and cargo charters to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and Xi'an in China for different customers.

Speaking at the small and modest ceremony, CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik appreciated his commercial team for their initiatives to augment the existing revenue sources of the airline.

He also thanked the MD of Oriental Sky Aviation for his patronage of PIA.

He said that with a daily connection, both trade and commerce between the two countries post Covid-19 scenario would be greatly facilitated, and would help in normalising after perhaps the most devastating year for commercial aviation worldwide.