Pakistan International Airlines (Urdu: پاکستان انٹرنیشنل ایئر لائنز) commonly referred by PIA (Urdu: پیآئیاے) is the national flag carrier of Pakistan. Its main hub is Karachi Jinnah International Airport while Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore and Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport serve as secondary hubs.
The airline was founded on 29 October 1946 as Orient Airways, initially based in Calcutta in British India, before shifting operations to the newly independent state of Pakistan in 1947. It was nationalized and merged with another airline in 1955, and Pakistan International Airlines Corporation came into existence. The airline commenced international services in 1955 to London, via Cairo and Rome. PIA was the first non-communist airline to fly to China and was the second Asian airline (after Air India) to acquire jet aircraft by inducting a Boeing 707. In 2004, PIA became the launch customer of the Boeing 777-200LR. Since 2016, PIA has been slated for privatization to shift management to the private sector.
PIA is Pakistan largest airline, and operates a fleet of more than 30 aircraft. The airline operates scheduled services to 20 domestic destinations and 26 international destinations across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. It operates nearly 100 flights daily. In addition to commercial flight operations, PIA also owns The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, and the Sofitel Paris Scribe Hotel in Paris.
The airline employed nearly 14,000 people in 2015
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