The history of Pakistani Airlines started with the merging of Orient Airways with international airlines cooperation of Pakistan. At that time Pakistan International Airlines was the only operator that provided travelling facilities to passengers. Meanwhile private airlines emerged and started their services in Pakistan. However, currently there exist only three main Pakistani airlines which include PIA, Air Blue and Shaheen Air.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), only airline owned by the Government of Pakistan, provides its travelling facilities to 42 international destinations and 27 domestic flights are operated by it. It has an employment rate of 18,043 according to the survey (2008). The main bases of PIA lay in three big cities of Pakistan namely Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
Air blue is the privately owned Pakistani airline which is the second largest domestic airline of Pakistan. It provides its services to five international destinations and four domestic places. Besides, another main Pakistani airline is Shaheen Air that is the private-based cooperation. Like Air Blue, it operates among main cities of Pakistan and schedules international flights to five or six destinations. The main base of both of these privately owned airlines exist at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.
In addition to the currently serving airlines described above, there were few others that do not serve anymore due to some reasons. They include Aero Asia International, Pearl Air, Pakistan Airways and some others. Some of them closed their services long time ago and some had been suspended prior to poor management issues.
The aviation industry of Pakistan got its initiation when the Orient Airways got into a merger with the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation. The new entity which became the national airlines and the flag-bearer was named the Pakistan International Airlines. This was the only airline company of Pakistan for a long time because of the unstable conditions in the nation, but, soon, there was an impetus of many private airlines entering the market. The 1990s was a major period in the history of airlines in Pakistan as four private airline companies joined the industry during this time. Unfortunately, the sanctions which were placed on the aviation industry of India and Pakistan caused two of the four airlines to file for bankruptcy. There was a revival once again in the beginning of the 21st century when many new airlines started operations. There are many top-end airline carriers in the nation today. However, the best of the lot include the following:
1. Aero Asia International
3. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
4. Safe Air
5. Shaheen Air International
The current status of the aviation industry promises that things can only improve for Pakistan with a new airport being built at Fateh Jang for the capital which is in the plans now.