Thursday, January 13, 2011

PIA Code Share With Turkish Airlines May Ease Entry Into Star Alliance

Aviation Daily Jan 13 , 2011 , p. 12
Neelam Mathews

A code-share alliance signed with Turkish Airlines may be a step for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) toward becoming a member of Star Alliance, a PIA spokesman was quoted telling a national daily, but this could not be confirmed with Star Alliance.

PIA will operate daily flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to Istanbul and onward to more than 128 international destinations under a code-share arrangement with Turkish Airlines.

The code share had created misgivings that were later cleared with the PIA employees associations that their jobs would be cut as a result of the agreement.

PIA has embarked on a five-year cost-cutting plan for human resources, fleet maintenance and yield enhancement, Chairman Ahmed Mukhtar said in October last year.

PIA was the first airline in the world to operate all three variants of the 777 family—the 777-200LR, 777-200ER and the 777-300ER.

Now the world’s eighth-biggest carrier, Turkish Airlines is planning to launch flights to 11 new destinations. It will begin to operate three weekly flights to Guangzhou, China, on Jan. 30, four to Los Angeles on March 3, and four to Shiraz, Iran, on March 14.

Turkish Airlines is also planning to start new flights to Malaga and Valencia, Spain; Salonika, Greece; Toulouse, France; Manila; and Naples, Turin and Genoa, Italy, this year.

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