Aero Asia International

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Aero Asia
Aero asia.jpg
IATA
E4
ICAO
RSO
Callsign
AERO ASIA
Founded 1993
Commenced operations 4 May 1993
Ceased operations 2007
Hubs Jinnah Intl Airport
Focus cities Allama Iqbal Intl Airport
Islamabad Intl Airport
Dubai International Airport
Destinations 50
Headquarters Karachi, Pakistan
A Boeing 737-200Adv operated by the airline. Here the aircraft is seen wearing a Boeing/Aero Asia hybrid scheme

Aero Asia International was a private airline based in Karachi, Pakistan. It operated domestic and international services.

Since May 2007, the airline was suspended from the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAA) due to the previous management's issues relating to the operating compliance on some CAA terms. Since then, the owners and executives have been sourcing expertise, systems and aircraft in order to facilitate lifting of the suspension in early 2009 in accordance with the 2007 Draft National Aviation Policy issued by the Pakistan CAA.

History[edit]

The airline was established in 1993. It started operations on 4 May 1993[1] The airline made a promising start, employing senior ex-Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management. The airline contracted two Romanian Airlines aircraft for wet-lease & lease-purchase of BAC 1-11 aircraft. Operations were started with wet-leased BAC 1-11 aircraft from the VIP fleet of Romania operated by Romavia Airlines, a sister company of the Romanian Air Force.

This fleet was primarily used by Romanian government dignitaries during Nicolae Ceauşescu's times. However, the post Ceauşescu governments decided to earn a little money by leasing this fleet to other commercial operators. Later, Aero Asia obtained four BAC 1-11 aircraft on lease purchase option from Tarom, the national airline of Romania.

The airline in its initial years made serious commitments to training its locally hired staff, following the example of PIA and in line with requirements of the local civil aviation authority. A small training school was also founded to train members of the cabin crew. Former Pakistan Air Force pilots were recruited. They began flying as co-pilots with the Romanian Pilots.

In 1994, Aero Asia took the usual step for a private airline in Pakistan by recruitment of ex - Airmen from Pakistan Air Force and a batch of trainees for aircraft maintenance, announcing that a fully functional aircraft maintenance facility was planned. Senior retired staff from the PIA training center were employed and approval of the training school from the local civil aviation authority was sought.

Aero Asia started its international operation on a route to Bishkek, in Central Asia. For this purpose another aircraft from the VIP fleet of Romania, a Boeing 707 aircraft was leased. The move to shift international operations to central Asian ex-USSR states was supposed to help the other businesses of Tabani Group in penetrating the countries. Later, Aero Asia started flying to the Gulf Emirate of Sharjah, linking to Dubai via road network. It also established a small maintenance facility in Sharjah Airport Free Zone by taking over a small aircraft hangar and offering services to third parties.

Aero Asia operated a fleet of three to five Yakovlev Yak-42D on main trunk routes in Pakistan. These were mainly Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. However, as demand rose through the years, the airline replaced its YAK-42Ds with Boeing 737-200Adv and Douglas DC-9s. The airline also introduced a more modern livery instead of having the colours of a past operator of the aircraft on its fuselage. A large "Aero Asia" was added to the front fuselage in bold red colour with the airline logo in between the words and on the tail.[citation needed]

At the start of 2006, Aero Asia and Askari Bank MasterCard announced their strategic alliance to offer their card members special discounts. On May 22, 2006 the Civil Aviation Authority stopped all Aero Asia flights as it was owed millions of Rupees. The management of the airline were pre-informed about the CAA decision and the ban would remain imposed until further orders by the aviation regulators.

In May 2007, the CAA of Pakistan suspended the operations of Aero Asia due to issues related to the safety of operations and passenger convenience. The airline announced that it had decided to suspend operations temporarily with effect from 19 May 2007 until further notice.

The carrier was recently acquired by a prominent group[who?] from Dubai.[citation needed]

Destinations[edit]

Aero Asia International served the following, some routes were ended much before closure:

Fleet[edit]

The company returned the aircraft being operated on 19 May 2007 under wet lease arrangements to the lessors and is now negotiating to acquire a fleet of five 737-300 aircraft under funding arrangements concordant with the 2007 Draft National Aviation Policy for Pakistan.

Former fleet[edit]

Over the years Aero Asia operated these aircraft;

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 46. 
  2. ^ a b Destinations list 1998
  3. ^ Route map

External links[edit]