Pakistan’s airline SereneAir to begin domestic operations by 2017
Islamabad,Oct21:Serene Air, Pakistan’s upcoming airline, is set to begin operations along domestic routes by the end of 2016, DawnNews learnt on Wednesday.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) granted Serene Air a licence in March to establish a private airline in Pakistan, sources in the organisation disclosed to DawnNews under condition of anonymity.
However, the new carrier has not been granted an Air Operator Certificate by the authority yet.
Therefore, “it is difficult to announce a confirmed date for the launch of domestic operations,” sources told DawnNews.
The organisation has not yet acquired the necessary number of aircraft to establish operations as an airline in Pakistan, but has submitted a business plan to the CAA and started acquiring Boeing jets on a priority basis.
Company officials will travel to the United States soon in order to acquire 5-7 Boeing 737-800s for which they require CAA approval.
Serene Air plans to fly on all domestic routes including Multan, Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar.
Responding to a question about the launch of international operations by Serene Air, sources said CAA rules state the airline can apply for an international licence if it achieves successful operations along domestic routes for over a year.
Serene Air has received applications from parties interested in working as part of their cabin crew.
“Pakistan’s aviation industry has huge potential. So, more airlines should start business on domestic routes,” Muhammad Yahya Polani, chairman of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Standing Committee on Aviation, told DawnNews.
“Availability of additional air carriers would create true competition, which would benefit the passengers with low fare charges and better service quality,” he added.
Currently, there are three airlines operating on domestic routes in the country, including Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue and Shaheen Air.
“All three airlines operating on the domestic routes have less than 100 aircraft combined, which are below the required number to serve the nation with an estimated population of 220 million,” Polani said.
“Turkish Airlines has more than 300 aircraft for a population of 75 million. It covers over 1,500 destinations every day and what’s more is that its private sector airlines have even greater number of aircraft,” he said.
Polani added, “United Airlines of the United States has over 1,000 aircraft that fly to 6,700 destinations every day while the United Arab Emirates airline flies to over 1,300 destinations every day and has a very limited population.”