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History of PIA - Pakistan International Airlines

Since 1954, PIA has flown many popular and famous passenger aircraft types. These aircraft include Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, DC-3 Dakota, Convair CV-240, Vickers Viscount 815, Boeing 707, Boeing 720, Hawker Siddeley HS.121 Trident 1E, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 and Fokker F27 Friendship

PIA Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellation

Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellation  (Abbas Ali Collection)

Three brand new Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellations were initial equipment of PIA. The airline flew its very first service with a Super Constellation on June 07, 1954 on the Karachi-Dacca route and later introduced Super Constellations on its first international service, Karachi to London via Cairo, on February 01, 1955. This photo from 1955 shows AP-AFR in pristine condition, AP-AFR was the second L-1049C Super Constellation to join embryonic fleet of PIA


PIA Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation

Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation  (Abbas Ali Collection)

PIA bought two new Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellations (AP-AJY & AP-AJZ) in 1958 to supplement its three Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellations for international services. L-1049H had main deck side cargo door on port side of rear fuselage allowing the aircraft to be converted to passenger configuration or freighter within few hours. The photo above shows Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation, AP-AJZ (c/n 4836) sitting on the North Apron of London-Heathrow Airport in early 1960s. AP-AJZ was delivered to PIA on March 3, 1958. It was withdrawn from use in 1969 and donated to the Indonesian Air Force



PIA McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30

McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30  (Copyright © Fredy Hader)

This photo taken by Fredy shows AP-AXC at Zurich-Kloten Airport in October of 1977. This DC-10 was PIA's very first wide-body airliner. PIA maintained a fleet of four DC-10-30s from 1974 to 1987. These DC-10s flew on long range routes along with airline's Boeing 747s. In the middle of 1980s PIA decided to standardize its fleet for long range flights. Boeing 747s got vote of approval from fleet planning team and all four DC-10s were replaced by four ex-CP Air Boeing 747-200Bs through a swap deal with the Canadian airline


PIA Hawker Siddeley HS.121 Trident 1E

Hawker Siddeley HS.121 Trident 1E  (Copyright © ATDB)

Four Tridents formed important part of PIA fleet between 1966 and 1970. PIA operated the 'hot and high' version of the Hawker Siddeley Trident, the series 1E. This photo shows PIA's first Trident 1E, AP-ATK, which was delivered to the airline on March 1, 1966. This aircraft entered scheduled service on April 1, 1966 following an intensive training program that saw 100 hours flown in the first 14 days. PIA's Tridents had been ordered to replace Viscounts and were used on domestic and regional services from Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi to Dacca and later to the Persian Gulf destinations which included Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait and Dubai. Tridents also took over the 'Inter-wing' service from the airline's Boeing 720Bs, linking West and East Pakistan. Later, PIA found that its Tridents had been so effective in generating traffic that the levels on its regional routes had outgrown the Trident's capacity. The airline acquired a number of Boeing 707s to replace the Tridents between June and November 1970. All four PIA Tridents were transferred to the Chinese national carrier Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) by the end of 1970 under barter trade between Pakistan and China




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