SIALKOT     -   National flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) today formally started its direct international passenger flights to London-UK from Sialkot international airport. The aviators and ground staff presented the water cannon salute to the PIA aircraft upon its landing at Sialkot international airport from London here today.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, SIAL Chairman Nadeem Anwar Qureshi, Senior PIA officials and leading people from travel trade accorded rosy welcome to the passengers of PIA flight (PK-778), with 107 male and female passengers, upon its arrival here from London-UK with special bouquets. Later, PIA’s flight (PK-777) with 294 passengers took off to London from Sialkot international airport. Senior officials of PIA and SIAL seen off the passengers.

Both PIA and SIAL jointly hosted a prestigious launching ceremony at Sialkot airport. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, SIAL Chairman Nadeem Anwar Qureshi, Vice Chairman Muhammad Afzal Shaheen, CEO Maj-Gen (Rtd) Abid Nazir, SIAL Manager Public Relations Abdul Shakur Mirza, senior PIA officials and leading people from travel trade attended this ceremony.

Earlier, the PIA had started direct international passenger flights between Barcelona-Spain, Paris-France and Sialkot-Pakistan from Sialkot international airport on January 20, 2019.

On this occasion, senior PIA officials added that at the initial stage, the PIA will operate direct international passenger flight between London-UK and Sialkot-Pakistan once a week and later PIA flights to other European countries will be increased.

Addressing the participants, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar highly hailed the Sialkot exporters’ spirit and struggle for establishing Asia’s first ever private sector Sialkot international airport on self-help  basis. Now, the Sialkot exporters have established their own private airline Air Sal on self-help basis, setting a unique example of self-help for the others to replicate it.

He said that the government was making all out sincere efforts to ensure the provision of international standard and advanced aviation facilities for the passengers at all the airports in Pakistan.

Usman Dar said that the Sialkot exporters were the jewel of the national economy, as the Sialkot exporters have been playing a pivotal role in strengthening the national economy and boosting the national exports by earning precious foreign exchange to the tune of $2.5 billion annually.

He said that the government was fully aware of the perturbing problems of the business community and government was making hectic efforts to ensure the amicable solution to these problems by taking the business community into confidence as well.

Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Chairman Nadeem Anwar Qureshi told the participants that the success of Sialkot international airport has also been building the trust and confidence of the foreign airlines as well. He pledged to provide the international standard aviation facilities to all the passengers at Sialkot international airport.

Further he said that the grand project of Sialkot airport set up by Sialkot exporters on self-help basis, has been playing a pivotal role in opening the new vistas of socio-economic and human development in Pakistan’s first-ever “Golden Export Triangle” comprising Sialkot, Gujrat and Gujranwala districts, besides, helping a lot in boosting the Sialkot exports.

SIAL’s Business Development Committee Chairman Mian Naeem Javaid said that the mega project of Sialkot International Airport, established by the trendy Sialkot exporters on self-help basis, is now proving itself as a milestone towards the stability of the national economy.  There is no doubt to say that Sialkot international airport project has now become a success story.

Mian Naeem Javaid added that several more international airlines would soon start their flights operations from Sialkot international airport.

He narrated that the mega Sialkot airport project, is now opening the new panorama of economic development in the country and bringing a boom in the industrial sector.

He said that it would also help in doubling the annual export from Sialkot from existing exports $2.5 billion, thus catering to the need of the Pakistan’s first ever Golden Export Triangle.

He said that the management of SIAL has formally invited several international airlines to come to Pakistan and start their international passenger and cargo flights from Sialkot-Pakistan to several foreign destinations as well.

He added that Sialkot airport could be a very successful foreign destination for any airline, saying the Sialkot exporters have written a unique golden history of self help by completing this mega project, advising others to replicate it.

He said that the industrialists and exporters of Sialkot had set a unique precedent for others in the country to follow by successfully launching a mega project on self-help basis.