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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-100-382B-4C Hercules

Lockheed L-100-382B-4C Hercules  (Abbas Ali Collection)

This photo shows Lockheed L-100-382B-4C Hercules (AP-AUU) sporting PIA logo during a pre-delivery test flight in USA. Two brand new Lockheed L-100s - first one registered as AP-AUT and second one as AP-AUU - were operated by PIA for a very brief period of time after their delivery to the airline in 1966 and later same year these two transport aircraft were transferred to Pakistan Air Force (PAF). AP-AUT received serial# 64144 and and is still in service with PAF. AP-AUU received air force serial# 64145 but unfortunately met a tragic end when in 1968, during a supply mission attempt, it disintegrated in severe turbulence over Pakistan's Karakoram mountains region


PIA Convair CV-240-5

Convair CV-240-5  (Abbas Ali Collection)

This photo shows Convair CV-240-5 (registration AP-AHS) at Karachi International Airport in January 1959. A total of four Convair CV-240 aircraft served PIA during 1950s. PIA's first two Convair CV-240 aircraft were ex-Orient Airways aircraft model CV-240-7 (registrations AP-AEF and AP-AEH) which became part of PIA fleet when PIA took over routes and assets of Orient Airways on March 11, 1955. In 1956, two Convair CV-240-5 aircraft were purchased in used condition from Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) and inducted in PIA fleet. These two ex-TAA Convairs were registered in Pakistan as AP-AHO and AP-AHS for PIA. Convair CV-240 were operated by PIA on domestic and regional routes. On domestic flights network in West Pakistan, Convair was operated on routes like Karachi-Lahore-Karachi. On regional routes, PIA operated Convair aircraft on routes including Karachi-Bombay-Karachi and Lahore-Delhi. Convair flights were also operated between West Pakistan and East Pakistan with stop-over in India on Karachi-Lahore-Delhi-Dacca route. In 1958, PIA lost one of its four Convair aircraft in a fatal accident in India. The ill-fated Convair CV-240-7 (registration AP-AEH) crashed after take-off from Delhi Airport on May 15, 1958. Out of a total of 38 people aboard the aircraft, 21 including 4 crew members lost their lives in this accident. As part of PIA fleet modernization plans in late 1950s, the remaining three Convair CV-240 aircraft in PIA were transferred to Fokker Aircraft Company, Netherlands, in October 1959. The transfer of these three PIA Convair CV-240 aircraft to Fokker Aircraft Company was part of deal under which PIA placed order for its first batch of Fokker F27 Friendship turboprop aircraft



PIA Vickers Viscount 815

Vickers Viscount 815  (Copyright © PIA)

This photo shows PIA Vickers Viscount 815 (AP-AJF) named "City of Karachi". In May 1956, PIA placed order for three Vickers Viscount 815 aircraft. First of these aircraft was delivered to PIA on January 2, 1959. Later two more Vickers Viscount aircraft were ordered by PIA and the aircraft type remained in service with the airline for ten years from 1956 to 1966. Vickers Viscount was PIA's first turboprop aircraft and it was introduced on Karachi to Delhi flight on January 31, 1959. PIA lost two of its Viscount aircraft in accidents in 1959.

On September 7, 1961, PIA introduced a daily Night Coach service with a 30 percent fare reduction between Karachi and Lahore. Operated by the Viscount, these services were all-tourist with a high-density configuration of 64 seats. One-way fare between Karachi and Lahore was Rs. 110/- and the round-trip fare Rs. 198/- as against the normal fares of Rs. 160/- and Rs. 288/- respectively. No meals or refreshments were served on board and free baggage allowance on these services was fixed at 30lbs per passenger.

In 1963, PIA's inaugural flight to Kabul was operated with Viscount. PIA also achieved 9 hours per day world's highest utilization rate for Viscount in 1963. The Viscount performed very well on PIA's short haul flights and its comfortable flight and bigger cabin windows were admired by passengers.

Due to growth in passenger load, in 1964, PIA placed order for Hawker Siddeley HS.121 Trident IE-103 tri-jet aircraft to replace Viscount. The Trident order agreement included transfer of PIA's remaining three Viscount aircraft to Hawker Siddeley. Under the agreement these three Viscount aircraft were leased back to PIA from 1964 till the delivery of three Trident aircraft in 1966


PIA Mil Mi-8MTV-1 Helicopter

Mil Mi-8MTV-1  (Copyright © PIA)

Registered in Uzbekistan as UK27089 a Mil Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter is seen in PIA livery in this photo taken at Abbottabad in 1995. In July 1995, PIA commenced its helicopter operations with a pair of leased Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters that were based at Islamabad International Airport. The inaugural flight originated from Islamabad to the hilly summer resort Abbottabad, in Hazara district. The twenty minutes adventure over the lush green dales and valleys of this region was a speedy, safe, smooth and exhilarating experience. Later, the 24-seater PIA Mi-8MTV-1 for the first time operated commercial flight between Abbottabad and Peshawar. The daily Islamabad-Abbottabad-Peshawar flight, with thrills and chills of low flying between 12,000 feet and 18,000 feet, over scenic areas of Hazara, Tarbela Dam and Jehangira, took about forty-five minutes. PIA Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter scheduled flights were operated to Abbottabad, Bhurban, Sialkot and Peshawar. Helicopter was also available for charter service to Shogran, Kalam, Naran and Chitral




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