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
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
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.