Jinnah International Airport

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Jinnah International Airport
جناح بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ
Jinnah Intl Logo.jpg
Karachi Jinnah Airport.jpg


KHI is located in Pakistan
Location of airport in Pakistan
KHI is located in Karachi
Location within Karachi
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan
Serves Karachi
Location Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 100 ft / 30 m
Coordinates 24°54′24″N 067°09′39″E / 24.90667°N 67.16083°E / 24.90667; 67.16083
Website Jinnah International Airport
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07R/25L 3,400 11,155 Concrete
07L/25R 3,200 10,500 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 19 Million (Increase9.46)
Aircraft movements 129,645(Increase4.50)
Cargo handled 1,69,124 M. tons(Increase2.30)

Jinnah International Airport (Urdu: جناح بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ‎) (IATA: KHIICAO: OPKC) is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. Located in Karachi, the largest city and capital of the Sindh province, it is named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

The airport provides a hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Air Indus, Shaheen Air, and airblue as well as many other private airlines. The airport is equipped with aircraft engineering and overhauling facilities including the Ispahani Hangar for wide-body aircraft.[1] In 2013, over 16,065,465 passengers used Jinnah International Airport (daily more than 44,000 passengers) and 113,345 aircraft movements were registered. Concourse East is currently used by Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam members and a few other non-affiliated airlines.


Tata Airlines, started as an air mail service from Karachi to Mumbai
Karachi Port Trust Airport in 1943 during World War II

J. R. D. Tata, the father of civil aviation in the British Raj made the South Asia's maiden voyage from Juhu Aerodrome in Bombay to Drigh Road airstrip (Now Jinnah International Airport), Karachi, via Ahmedabad, on 15 October 1932 carrying mail in a Puss Moth aircraft.[2]

During the 1940s there was a large black coloured hangar at the site of Karachi Airport, constructed for the British R101 Airship. Only three hangars were ever built in the world to dock and hangar the R101 airships. However, the R101 airship never arrived in Karachi (then part of the British Raj) as it crashed early in its journey in France. This hangar was so huge that aircraft often used it as a visual marker while attempting VFR landings at Karachi. Over the years, the hangar became known as the landmark of Karachi, until it was demolished by order of then-President Ayub Khan in the 1960s.

During World War II, Karachi Airport was a major transhipment base for United States Army Air Forces units and equipment being used by Tenth Air Force in eastern India and Burma, as well as for Fourteenth Air Force in China. Several operational bomber and fighter units flew into Karachi for short organisational periods prior to their deployment. Air Technical Service Command had extensive facilities where aircraft were received, assembled and tested prior to being flown to their combat units at forward airfields. It also functioned as a major maintenance and supply depot for both air forces. In addition, Air Transport Command flew numerous cargo and passenger flights to the Middle East and to points within British India and China.

The airport facilities were further expanded in the 1980s to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 respectively. The present day infrastructure of Jinnah International Complex is a result of an expansion programme carried out in 1994. Today, the new Jinnah Terminal handles both domestic and international flights, whereas Terminal 2 is now dedicated to Hajj operations. Terminal 1 (the original airport) is now the HQ of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, and Terminal 3 is dedicated to commercial offices.[3]

Karachi was once a much busier airport. Between the 1960s and 1980s it was an online station of several major airlines of the world including Air India, British Airways (now operating via codeshare with Qatar Airways), Interflug, TAROM, Alitalia (now operating via codeshare with Etihad), JAT Yugoslavia Airlines, Aeroflot, Philippine Airlines, Nigeria Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, East African Airways, Kenya Airways (now operating via codeshare with Etihad), Air France, Qantas, Pan Am, Royal Jordanian, Libyan Arab Airlines, Japan Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Lufthansa, Swissair, and SAS. Other former airlines were Azerbaijan Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Kazakhstan Airlines, KLM (now operating via codeshares with Etihad and Gulf Air), Kuwait Airways, Kyrgyzstan Airlines, Libyan Arab Airlines, Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa, and Uzbekistan Airways. However, due to the emergence of Dubai's airport on the world map, increased usage of longer haul aircraft, expensive fuel prices in Pakistan, and the poor political climate of Karachi during the 1990s, several airlines discontinued their service to the airport.

In the past couple of years Karachi has seen a reversal in fortunes. The dwindling number of international airlines has stabilised and whilst there has not been a marked increase in the number of airlines flying in to Karachi, some have either increased the number of flights or resumed their old operations, either online or via codeshare service.


Jinnah International-JIAP
Aerial view of Jinnah International Airport taken in 2010

Jinnah International Airport has a capacity of handling 12 million passengers annually. In fiscal year 2008–2009, over 5,725,052 passengers used Jinnah International Airport. 50,095 aircraft movements were registered.[4] Jinnah International Airport in Karachi has always been the largest aviation facility in Pakistan. It is the primary hub of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). All other Pakistani airlines also use Jinnah International Airport as their main hub. These include airblue and Shaheen Air, as well as several charter carriers. The building is linked via connecting corridors to two satellites, each having a provision of eight passenger-loading bridges. The eastern satellite is devoted exclusively to handling international operations. The western satellite is used for domestic operations, as well as some international operations. This is achieved through a flexible arrangement of gates. The two satellites supplement the departure lounges of the terminal building and also provide shopping facilities, mobile recharging points, and snack counters.

The Jinnah Terminal was completed in 1992 at a cost of US $100 million – at the time the most expensive civil construction project in Pakistan. NESPAK (National Engineering Services Pakistan) and Airconsult (Frankfurt, Germany) were responsible for the architecture and planning of the terminal. Sogea Construction, a French company, was the contractor. Mukhtar Husain and Abdul Malik (NESPAK) were the Chief Engineers for the new terminal. In Karachi, the CIP Lounge can be used by all first and business class passengers on all outbound flights. Barclays, UBL, and airblue have also introduced their dedicated lounges in the international terminal of the airport.[5] There are a number of bank kiosks and ATMs that passengers can use at the airport. The airport is also where the majority of PIA's maintenance network is located, although some of its maintenance work also takes place at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Rawalpindi. There are several hangars at the airport; the largest being the Ispahani Hangar (named after Mirza Ahmad Ispahani, the first chairman of PIA) that can accommodate two Boeing 747s and one narrow body airliner (e.g. Boeing 737) at one time. On 15 February 2006, the first major overhaul of a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (known as "C" check) was done at Ispahani Hangar. Most of the PIA aircraft are checked and regulated at the aircraft hangars in Karachi. The PIA maintenance also check other airline aircraft in Karachi such as Philippine Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air Universal. The head office of the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan is located in Terminal 1.[6] Pakistan International Airlines has its head office on the grounds of the airport (PIA Building),[7] as well as its central mainframe (CRC Building) which also houses its frequent flyer programme, Awards +, as well as hosting SITA Bagtrak, the shared International Air Transport Association global lost luggage tracking computer network. PIA Engineering HQ, Cargo Village, and Flight Kitchen are also located here. Terminals 1 and Jinnah West also have round-the-clock PIA booking offices and ticketing auto-kiosks. Shaheen Air also has its head office on the airport property.[8]

Ispahani Hangar[edit]

The apron of the Ispahani Hangar
Main article: Ispahani Hangar

The Ispahani Hangar is PIA's wide-body aircraft maintenance hangar at Jinnah International Airport. It has been named in honour of Mr. Mirza Ahmad Ispahani. Mirza Ahmad Ispahani was the first and longest serving chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from its inception in 1954 until 1962. The new jet hangar for wide body and narrow body aircraft with a supporting airframe overhaul shop was completed and commissioned in 1968. Most of the PIA aircraft are checked and regulated at the aircraft hangars in Karachi. The PIA maintenance also check other airline aircraft in Karachi such as Philippine Airlines, Yemenia, and Turkish Airlines.


Jinnah Airport has one main terminal, divided into two concourses:[9]

  • The Jinnah East Satellite Concourse, used for international flights
  • The Jinnah West Satellite Concourse, used for domestic flights
Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 747-300 ready for departure at Jinnah International Airport

Runways and aprons[edit]

The airport has two runways measuring 3,200m and 3,400m in length respectively. Runways, 25R/07L and 25L/07R each have a width of 46 m (250 ft)and 45m respectively. The runways have capacity to handle 15 flights per hour and it accommodate simultaneous landing and take off. Runway 25R and 25L is equipped with ILS CAT-I to guide landing aircraft safely under very poor weather conditions and also allowing planes to land in low visibility conditions, such as fog.[10] The taxiway is able to handle 12 aircraft at any one moment while the parking area measures 266,000 sq metres and is able to accommodate 42 aircraft, 12 of which through air bridges linking them directly with the terminal building. In addition to this, there are remote parking bays for 30 aircraft.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-400 during takeoff from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan


Jinnah International Airport connects Karachi with 67 cities worldwide(including domestic destinations) by both passenger and cargo flights. Up to 43 airlines operate regular flights to/from the airport.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Arabia Sharjah East
Airblue Abu Dhabi, Dubai-International, Jeddah, Muscat, Sharjah[11] East
Airblue Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Rahim Yar Khan West
Air China Chengdu East
Air Indus Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta West
Al-Naser Airlines Najaf [12] East
Emirates Dubai-International East
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi East
Flydubai Dubai-International East
Flynas Jeddah, Riyadh East
Gulf Air Bahrain East
Iran Air Tehran-Imam Khomeini East
Oman Air Muscat East
Pakistan Aviators & Aviation Charter: Lahore West
South Asian Airways Charter: Lahore, Islamabad, Sharjah West
Air Vista Charter: Lahore, Islamabad West
Askari Aviation Charter: Islamabad West
Aircraft Sales and Services Limited Charter: Kadanwari West
Pakistan International Airlines Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, Manchester, New York-JFKa, Medina, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Muscat, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson East
Pakistan International Airlines Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Faisalabad, Gwadar, Islamabad, Lahore, Moenjodaro, Multan, Nawabshah, Panjgur, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Sukkur, Turbat, Zhob West
Qatar Airways Doha East
Saudia Dammam, Dhaka, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh East
UTair Aviation Charter: Moscow-Vnukovo East
Vision Air International Charter: Dubai-International [13] East
Vision Air International Charter: Faisalabad, Islamabad, Lahore[13] West
Shaheen Air Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Dubai-International, Jeddah, Muscat, Sharjah East
Shaheen Air Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta West
SriLankan Airlines Colombo East
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Muscat East
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk East
United Airways Dhaka, Jeddah East


  • ^a Pakistan International's flight from New York to Karachi has a stop at Lahore; however the flight from Karachi to New York makes stopovers in Lahore and Manchester, where the airline has fifth freedom rights to board passengers to New York.


Airlines Destinations
Cargolux Luxembourg, Sharjah [14]
DHL International Aviation ME Abu Dhabi, Bahrain[15]
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
Iran Air Cargo Tehran
Midex Airlines Al Ain, Sharjah
Shaheen Air Dubai-International
Star Air Aviation Abu Dhabi, Dubai-International, Islamabad, Kuwait, Lahore, Peshawar[16]
Royal Airlines Dubai-International, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar
DHL Express Bahrain, Dubai-International
TCS Couriers Dubai-International, Islamabad, Lahore
MNG Airlines Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Istanbul-Atatürk
Qatar Airways Cargo Colombo, Doha, Dubai-International
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk, Singapore, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Maximus Air Cargo Dubai

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxi service is available to the airport from all points of Karachi, while bus and minibus routes are also available to the airport. Commuter rail station is also near the airport, hardly a five minute drive distance. Radio taxi services also available at the airport.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Date Aircraft Registration Flight no Airline Occupants Fatalities Details
3 March 1953 de Havilland DH-106 Comet 1A CF-CUN Canadian Pacific Air Lines (CP Air) 11 11 Failed to takeoff and crashed into a dry river bed. First fatal passenger jet airliner crash.[17]
5 August 1956 Hermes IV G-ALDK Britavia Suffered the collapse of the nose undercarriage at Drigh Road Airport. The aircraft was damaged beyond economic repair.[18]
14 August 1959 Vickers Viscount AP-AJE Pakistan International Airlines 3 2 Aircraft crashed at Karachi International Airport while attempting an overshoot with two engines inoperative on a training flight.[19]
5 September 1986 Boeing 747-121 Pan Am Flight 73 Pan American World Airways 20 Aircraft was hijacked by Palestinian gunmen posing as airport officials upon arrival from Bombay (now Mumbai), India. 20 people were killed when the gunmen opened fire on the passengers as commandos prepared to storm the airplane whilst still on the ground.
5 November 2010 Beechcraft 1900 JS Air 21 21 A plane chartered by the Italian oil company, ENI crashed a minute after takeoff. All 21 passengers & crew on board - 17 ENI employees, 2 pilots, a security guard, and a technician - were killed. Among the dead were 20 Pakistani nationals and 1 Italian national.[20]
28 November 2010 Ilyushin Il-76 4L-GNI Sun Way Flight 4412 Sun Way 8 10 Aircraft crashed in a populated area of Karachi shortly after taking off from Jinnah International Airport. All eight people on board were killed, as were a further two people on the ground. The aircraft was reported to have been trying to return to Jinnah International after suffering an engine fire.[21]

On 8 June 2014, at least 10 militants armed with automatic weapons,[22][23][24] a rocket launcher, suicide vests and grenades attacked the airport; 36 people were killed, including all 10 attackers, and at least 18 people were wounded.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Welcome to Jinnah International Airport Karachi
  2. ^ Pran Nath Seth, Pran Nath Seth, Sushma Seth Bhat (2005). An introduction to travel and tourism. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved 20 February 2011.  Page 112
  3. ^ Paul Stephen Dempsey (1999), Airport Planning & Development Handbook: a global survey. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-07-134316-9
  4. ^ caapakistan.com.pk - Aviation Statistics
  5. ^ Airblue launches Blue Lounge International
  6. ^ "Contact Us." Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan. Retrieved on 3 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Contact Us." Pakistan International Airlines. Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Contact Us > Domestic." Shaheen Air. Retrieved on 28 July 2010.
  9. ^ Jinnah International Website
  10. ^ World Aero Data: JINNAH INTL - OPKC
  11. ^ : : : Airblue : : : flight schedules
  12. ^ Alnaser KHI charter schedule
  13. ^ a b http://www.historyofpia.com/board/november_14/alnaser_airlines_nov28.jpg Alnaser KHI charter schedule
  14. ^ Cargolux schedule
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.starairaviation.net/air_cargo.html
  17. ^ CPAL crash details Aviation Safety Network.Retrieved 13 January 2011
  18. ^ Chesterfield, Lyn. "Hermes prang". Aeroplane (Kelsey Publishing) (January 2011): p82. 
  19. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "22 killed when small plane crashes in Pakistan". CNN International. July 5, 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  21. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Sun Way IL76 at Karachi on Nov 28th 2010, engine fire". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Karachi Airport attacked; Indian weapons recovered from the terrorists". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  23. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/militant-attack-karachi-airport-pakistan-claims-23-lives-least-14-wounded-1595961
  24. ^ Militant Attack On Karachi Airport In Pakistan Claims 23 Lives, At Least 14 Wounded

External links[edit]

Media related to Jinnah International Airport at Wikimedia Commons