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Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines (also known as PIA), is Pakistan's national and international airline.

History PIA can trace its beginnings to the days when Pakistan still wasn't a nation. In 1946, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, also known as founder of Pakistan, realized the need of an airline network for the forming country. He called upon the help of Mr. M.A. Ispahani[?], who was an experienced industrialist.

Pakistan International Airlines

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On October 23 of that year, the airline operation, named Orient Airways was set up, registered in Calcutta. February of 1947, three DC-3 airplanes were bought over from a company in Texas, and in May of that year, the airline was granted a license to fly. Services were started in June, with the run from Calcutta to Akyab[?] and Rangoon. This was the first post war airline flight by an Indian registered airline company.

Two months after this service began, Pakistan as a nation was formed. Orient Airways began relief flights to the new nation, and soon after, it moved operations to Karachi, where it began the important route from Karachi to Dacca[?]. In addition, their initial domestic route in Pakistan was established, from Karachi to Lahore to Peshawar, and another one covered Karachi to Quetta to Lahore.

Due to increasing passenger demand, the airline had to increase its fleet before the end of the 1940s, and this caused financial trouble to the airline. The government of Pakistan, realizing the operation was failing economically, asked the airline to merge into a new, national airline that the government was planning on creating. Eventually, on March 11 of 1955, Orient Airways ceded, and, with the Government's proposed airline, it became Pakistan International Airways.

That year also, the airline opened their first route under the PIA name, when it began flying from Karachi to London, via Cairo and Rome. The start of the flight to England's largest metropolis allowed PIA to earn the cash it needed to buy new airplanes.

1956 saw PIA ordering two Super Constellations and five Viscount planes.

In 1959, Nur Khan[?] was named managing director of PIA, thus beginning what many in the airline industry call the golden years of PIA.

In March of 1960, PIA became the first Asian airline to enter the jet age when Boeing 707 service was introduced. In 1961, services were begun to JFK International Airport in New York, then Idlewild Airport. In 1962, orders were placed for Boeing 720[?]'s, Fokker F-27[?]'s and Sikorsky[?] helicopters. One of their 720's broke a record that year, when it flew from Karachi to London non-stop in under 7 hours.

1964 was another history making year for PIA because it became the first airline from a non-communist country to fly to The People's Republic of China. As the India-Pakistan war broke in 1965, PIA helped the Pakistani forces with logistics and transport. In 1966, the Viscounts were phased out, substituted by Tridents.

In 1967, PIA installed Pakistan's first computer, an IBM model.

The 1970s saw the resuming of transatlantic fights for the airline and many new destinations. It applied in 1972 to operate to Libya, and a agreement was signed with Yugoslav airline JAT[?], also on that year. In 1973, McDonnell Douglas DC-10's arrived. 1974 saw the start of air freight service, as well as a cargo service to New York. In 1975, new uniforms were given to PIA stewardesses, and in 1976, leased Boeing 747's were introduced, the first time the airline had such a type. In 1978, the airline bought their first own planes of that type, which have since become a staple of the airline's fleet. 1978 also saw the airline provide help to Somali Airlines[?], Air Malta and Yemenia[?]; and establish a hotel management service in the United Arab Emirates.

the 1980s began with the opening of a cargo center in Karachi. In 1981, PIA was named most efficient airline to the Haj operation, and a duty-free sales service was begun.

1982 saw the welcoming of Airbus A300 planes to the fleet, and the first C and D checks on the fleet were performed. In addition, Pakistan's first Direct Inward Dialing system in Pakistan was introduced by the airline. In 1984, domestic coach fare service at night was introduced. In 1985 the Pakistani Planetarium tourist attraction was inaugurated by PIA, and five Boeing 737s joined the fleet. A former PIA Boeing 707 now forms part of the Planetarium's exhibition. 1987 and 1988 saw the introduction of flights to Male and to Toronto, respectively.

PIA finished the 1980s with a golden touch: In 1989, their first women pilots started to command passenger flights.

The 1990s began with new improvements and routes for the airline: In 1992, flights started to Tashkent and in 1993, to Zurich. In addition, PIA became a user of the Sabre, Galileo and Amadeus global distribution systems, or GDS.

Jakarta, Fujairah[?], Baky and Al-Ain[?] were among the cities introduced to PIAs route network in 1994, and air safari flights started to be operated by the airline. 1995 saw the arrival of a 747 flight simulation system, and the buying of a used Air France A300 plane.

In 1996, the airline leased a Tupolev T14[?] plane, and re-opened services to Beirut.

In 1999 the airline eliminated all intermediate stops on flights to the United States, hoping to attract more North American passengers.

Destinations Large domestic network, all over Asia, all over the Middle East, many northern Africa cities, London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Toronto, New York and Washington

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