The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced plans to launch two weekly flights to Australia, cutting travel time to and from the country by around one-third, The News reports.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez says that if it (flights to Australia by a Pakistani carrier) happens, it would be happening for the first time. He said that PIA has conducted a feasibility study, which concluded that it would be beneficial to the airline.
PIA intends to operate two weekly flights from Karachi and Lahore to Sydney at first. Later, it might also include Islamabad.
Flights might commence in late March or early April, according to the national carrier. The airline, however, has yet to receive authorisation from the Australian aviation authority.
Direct flights would shorten a traveler’s flight duration to 12:30 hours and 13 hours, if one is going to Australia or coming to Pakistan respectively.
Because there are no direct flights between Pakistan and Australia, passengers must travel for 34 to 35 hours with stopovers, which adds to their travel time.
“Every airline must touch their hub before flying on to their destination,” stated Nadeem Sharif, Chairman of the Travel Agents Association of Pakistan (TAAP). “There may be eight-hour layovers or even overnight stays, which adds to the travel time.”
He added that, for example, if a person travelling to Australia via Qatar Airways from Pakistan, he or she must first fly to Doha, Qatar Airways’ hub, and then be carried to Australia from there. Similarly, when a person travels from Australia to Pakistan, the same thing happens.
PIA’s fleet is expected to grow from the current 29 to 49 by 2026, comprising 16 wide body, 27 narrow body and 6 turbo propeller aircraft. PIA’s share price increased by 1.24 percent on Tuesday to Rs4.09.
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