Shaheen Air International is a Pakistani private airline based in Karachi. It operates scheduled services in the main cities of Pakistan and to the Persian Gulf countries. Its main base is Jinnah International Airport (KHI), Karachi, with a hub at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), Islamabad.
The airline was established and started operations in December 1993. It was formed as a project of the Shaheen Foundation, Pakistan Air Force. In October 1994 it was designated as the second national carrier of Pakistan and in February 1995 began international operations, with a scheduled service between Peshawar and Dubai. When the airline started it operated a fleet of leased Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft on most of its domestic flights. Shaheen Air International (SAI) was given the status of being the "second national airline of Pakistan" during the first couple of years of operation, however this status is no longer recognised.
In July 2004, the airline management was changed when it was taken over by TAWA International Inc. of Canada. The new chairman of Shaheen Air, Khalid M Sehbai has made a foreign direct investment in Shaheen Air with the objective of taking the airline back to its successful past.
During November 2004, the airline inducted its first Boeing 737-200 Advanced for its main route of Karachi-Lahore-Karachi, that arrived at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi and phasing out of its Soviet aircraft.
During 2005, the cargo division of the airline also grew when it signed an accord with the Pakistan Post and British Airways Cargo. For cargo use, Shaheen Air Cargo acquired IL-76 aircraft. The aircraft will be used on Dubai - Karachi routesTemplate:Fact. The initial two flights on January 3 and 5 carried about 100 metric tonnes export cargo that was delivered at Dubai for onward transportation to Europe and USA by British Airways flightsTemplate:Fact.
In 2006, Shaheen Air International (SAI) became Shaheen Air and the airline introduced a new livery and website. The airline also introduced flights to Quetta - Karachi. The Governor of Balochistan said that the improvement of air links was also discussed in the ongoing talks between Pakistan and Iran and he has offered the management of Shaheen Air to operate Quetta - Zahidan sector flights. He said that initially SAI is operating with eight flight schedules on Karachi-Quetta route and Quetta - Lahore route. He announced that SAI would also operate flight between Islamabad and Quetta later onTemplate:Fact.
On May 22, 2006 the Civil Aviation Authority stopped all flights of Shaheen Air as it owed millions of rupees to the CAA. On May 25, 2006 Shaheen Air International (SAI) was cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to resume its domestic and international operations. The clearance letter was issued by CAA following receipt of the cheque from SAI towards payment of the outstanding dues.
On September 18, 2006, it was announced  that Shaheen Air was to start a four times weekly service from Islamabad to Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield in the UK. However, no flights were ever launched.
On October 2007, Shaheen Air International announced at the World Travel Market in London that they would be commencing flights from Islamabad to London Luton Airport. On February 7, 2008, their second UK destination Leeds Bradford Airport flights were launched. On November 2007, Shaheen Air International acquired 2 Airbus A310-300 aircraft for the long-haul routes to the UK leased from Turkish company, Saga Airlines. The first delivered long haul A310-300 (TC-SGC) has an all-white colour scheme with large Shaheen Air titles on both side of the fuselage. The aircraft flies twice weekly on both the new Islamabad - Lahore - Kuwait route and twice weekly service to Leeds Bradford Airport in England.
Shaheen Air International is a private airline that provides passenger, cargo, and charter services. Its wings are spread to the major cities of Pakistan and Gulf by providing unmatched services to its valued customers. It was established in December 1993 and soon after its inception, on account of its professional service, exceptional performance, customer support and expertise in aviation, on October 25, 1994, it was accorded the status of 'Second National Carrier of Pakistan', by the Government of Pakistan.
Since June 2004, under the new management of TAWA International Inc. of Canada, Shaheen Air has been in a perpetual pursuit of excellence in operations and services by expanding its fleet, acquiring new routes and increasing its passenger base, with the sole objective of making it a leading customer focused regional and international airline. To be the best for customers and in the market place, the airline hires professional staff and trains them according to its corporate values.
At present, the airline is equipped with a fleet of seven self-owned Boeing 737 aircraft. Besides serving major domestic routes i.e Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, Shaheen Air has also been operating flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Kuwait, Doha and Muscat from almost all the major international gateways of Pakistan.
Suspension of UK operationsEdit
Shaheen ceased operating to Leeds Bradford Airport in England from 1 June 2008 no reason was given. They have not announced any resumption plans nor addition of planned new destinations (Birmingham, Glasgow, Luton and Stansted). The airline also failed to introduce the second A310 into service, while TC-SGC will be returned to its owners. Pakistan International Airlines have taken over the Leeds to Pakistan route, although they fly to Islamabad. Plus the airline is also going to re-start flights from Stansted to Karachi in the summer.
- Newspapers and magazines
- Islamabad Capital Territory
- North West Frontier Province
- United Arab Emirates
Shaheen Air Cargo is the fast growing division of Shaheen Air International that was established in 1993, soon after the inception of the airline.
Shaheen Air provides special services for sending small consignments which are time sensitive in nature.
|Boeing 737-200||5||120||Short and Medium haul||7 more to be added|
- The News, Jang Newspapers "Shaheen Air, British Airways reach accord"
- Dawn Newspapers "Shaheen Air, Pak Post ink accord"
- Jang Newspapers "Shaheen Air inducts Boeing"
- The Nation, Pakistan Edition "Shaheen Air starts Quetta flights"
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