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DATE: 14-MAY-2019
Department of CIVIL Engineering
Wah Campus
Air Transport
Air transport is an important enabler to achieving economic growth and development. Air
transport facilitates integration into the global economy and provides vital connectivity on
a national, regional, and international scale.

Types Of Air Transport In Pakistan

Pakistan is linked to almost all the countries of the world through five international
airports; Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. Karachi, the gateway to
Asia, has the most modern airport of the country.

For building a strong and dependable air transport infrastructure in Pakistan, which
would contribute significantly to improving the region’s logistics, the Government of
Pakistan in its new National Aviation Policy has explicitly provided for the construction of
new airports in the country on BOT basis. The policy also provides for an increase in
private sector participation in the construction of airports. To meet the needs of
domestic and international air transport, a number of private airlines have been allowed
to operate alongside PIA, the national air carrier.

For international operations, conditions will be developed to allow fair and reasonable
competition with Pakistani carriers with sufficient encouragement to the foreign airlines
to continue to serve Pakistan as much as possible and in the most efficient manner. The
policy also provides for selective “open skies” through agreements on the principle of
reciprocity and bilateralism with the maximum number of countries. Pakistan has
concluded Air Services Agreements with 91 countries. As per the new National Aviation
Policy of Pakistan, a number of airlines have been granted access to the northern
gateways of Pakistan, namely Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, effective January
01,1999. The national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) now operates
services to 45 cities in 36 countries across four continents. It also serves over 30 cities
within Pakistan.

The aviation liberalisation policy has also opened up investment opportunities in the
privatisation of airports. This will ease the burden on CAA that already has enormous
airport development plans and projects besides on going maintenance and upgrading of

Overall, the deregulation of air transport has resulted in phenomenal growth of the
sector, with domestic passenger traffic increasing tremendously. On the major trunk
routes, in particular Karachi-Islamabad and Karachi-Lahore, lower fares have
contributed to the rapid growth.

In recent years, private airlines in Pakistan have flourished. Presently three private
airlines namely Aero Asia, Bhoja Air and Shaheen Air International are operating on
domestic/international routes. New entrants are expected to enter the aviation market.
35 international airlines operate to Pakistan and there has been a tremendous growth
on the cargo side, where the Government’s “open sky” policy for exclusive cargo flights
is creating growth in this activity. In particular, with the opening of CIS states, charter
operations have also increased.

There is a Duty Free Shop located in the Jinnah Terminal Complex, Karachi Airport. It is
run by Aer Rianta International Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited. The Duty Free Shop covers an
area of 17,000 sq. ft. All outlets of Aer Rianta are in operation and their shops are fully
stocked and operational on a 24-hour basis.