‘Fly Jinnah’: new low-
cost airline in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Lakson Group and Middle Eastern budget carrier Air Arabia said on Friday they would launch a low-cost airline serving domestic and international routes from Pakistan.

The new carrier, Fly Jinnah, will operate as a joint venture between the pair, they said in a statement, adopting the low-cost model operated by Air Arabia.

The statement said the new airline would help Pakistan’s travel and tourism sector and contribute to the country’s economic growth and job creation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet welcomed Air Arabia to Pakistan and wished the group success in establishing the new airline.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Air Arabia Group Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House on Friday.

“My government is committed to attracting investment in Pakistan’s burgeoning travel & tourism sector which offers immense opportunities,” he wrote.

Imran Khan said on Friday his government wanted to turn Pakistan into a major destination for international investors as he welcomed the decision of a Middle Eastern budget carrier to form a joint venture with a local company to launch a new airline in the country.
The United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia along with its local partner, Laskson Group, announced the launch of Fly Jinnah, a low-cost carrier which plans to operate on domestic and international routes, on the same day.

Air Arabia operates from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, and has similar joint ventures in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Morocco and Armenia. Its shares are listed on the Dubai Financial Market.

Air Arabia operates from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. (Photo courtesy: Airbus)

The airline has been pushing ahead to expand in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak last year as low-cost carriers bet on a post-pandemic surge in travel.
Imran Khan also met with the chairman of the international airline, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, to welcome him in Pakistan.
“I welcome @airarabiagroup to Pakistan & wish them success in their partnership with local investors to establish a new Pakistani airline, FLY JINNAH,” the prime minister said in a Twitter post. “My govt is committed to attracting investment in Pakistan’s burgeoning travel & tourism sector which offers immense opportunities.”

According to Reuters, Air Arabia operates from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, and has similar joint ventures in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Morocco and Armenia. Its shares are listed on the Dubai Financial Market.
“The airline has been pushing ahead to expand in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak last year as low-cost carriers bet on a post-pandemic surge in travel,” it said in a news report.
The newly formed joint venture said Fly Jinnah would help Pakistan’s travel and tourism sector and contribute to the country’s economic growth and job creation.
Pakistan’s aviation industry has faced significant troubles in recent months after a plane crash in Karachi last year in which 97 people were killed.
The tragedy was followed by a statement by Pakistan’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan who informed a majority of pilots in the country either held fake licenses or did not take necessary qualification exams themselves.
The two events created significant turbulence for the country’s national air carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, which was internationally prohibited from flying on several lucrative routes.
Pakistan’s aviation and information ministers were also present during the prime minister’s meeting with the chairman of Air Arabia on Friday.