Bhoja Air

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Bhoja Air
Bhoja Air logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1993
Commenced operations 7 November 1993
6 March 2012 (Relaunch)
Ceased operations 2000 (Pre relaunch)
22 April 2012
Operating bases Jinnah International Airport
Fleet size 0 Crash =1
Destinations 5
Company slogan For those who love to fly
Parent company Bhoja Group of Companies,
Headquarters Karachi, Pakistan
Key people M. Farouk Omar Bhoja (Chairman and CEO)
Air Cdre Javed ishaq DMD

Bhoja Air (Urdu: بھوجا ائیر‎) was an airline based in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[1]

The airline was founded in 1993 and operated a small domestic network of scheduled passenger flights. Due to financial difficulties, the airline completely suspended operations between 2000 and 2012. After a brief relaunch, Bhoja Air ceased operations for the final time in July 2012.


On 7 November 1993, Bhoja Air started operations on domestic routes between Karachi, Lahore and Quetta with a dry leased Boeing 737-200. It was registered in Pakistan making Bhoja the first private airline in the country to operate a Western manufactured aircraft. Bhoja Air is a privately owned airline of the Bhoja Group of Companies with its head office at Shahrah–e-Liaquat, Karachi and corporate offices at KDA Scheme No 1. In 1996, it signed a deal with the handling agent group OGDENS with complete ground handling equipment at Karachi, capable of handling Boeing 747s. In the same year another sister company, Pakistan Aviators and Aviation located at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore was purchased[by whom?], along with a hotel for passenger stop-overs.

On 24 January 1998 Bhoja Air commenced international flights from Karachi to Dubai. Later, Bhoja Air operated flights to the U.A.E from all major cities of Pakistan. However, due to financial difficulties, Bhoja Air suspended its operations in 2000, although its airline licence issued by CAA – Pakistan remained valid and it maintained a fully functional headquarters office in Karachi and a flight ops and ramp office at Karachi Jinnah International.[2][3]

The airline became active again during late 2011 and on 6 March 2012, they operated their first flight in twelve years. However, on 20 April, a Bhoja Air flight from Karachi to Islamabad crashed, killing all 127 passengers and crew aboard and completely destroying the aircraft.


Following the crash of Flight 213, the airline fully suspended operations for a second time on 22 April, just six weeks after their relaunch. The crash reduced their fleet size from three to two aircraft; thus, Bhoja Air were in breach of Pakistani law, requiring airlines to have at least three aircraft. As a result, the Ministry of Defence of Pakistan imposed a ban on operations on the airline from 29 May.[4][5][6]

Bhoja Air were planning to lease another aircraft and resume operations by mid-August with the assistance of an unnamed foreign airline, however, these plans never came to fruition.[4] The airline subsequently sold their remaining two aircraft and were shut down completely with the sale of their last aircraft in July 2012, with the ban still in force at the time.[7] All staff had their contracts terminated.


Bhoja Air served the following destinations as of April 2012, when all services were suspended:[8]


Bhoja also planned on launching another domestic station Sukkur, however that did not materialise despite being listed in the airlines website booking menu.


The Bhoja Air fleet consisted of the following aircraft at the time of service being suspended in April 2012:[7]

Bhoja Air Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Notes
Boeing 737-200 2
Total 2

Former fleet[edit]

For a short while Bhoja also operated a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 through Star Air Aviation to supplement its own fleet after the loss of one 737-200 in a crash.

Two more leased 737-200 were never delivered due to suspension of operations.

Bhoja Air previously operated the Yakovlev Yak-42.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 20 April 2012, a Boeing 737-200, operating Flight 213 and carrying 127 people on a flight from Karachi to Islamabad crashed near Chaklala during approach, killing all people on board. Eye-witness reports say that the aircraft was already on fire on its landing approach before it crashed, perhaps due to a strike of lightning.[9][10][11] Initial reports suggest that as the pilots of Flight 213 attempted to land amidst rain and strong winds, the aircraft might have flown into an unexpected wind shear.[12] The aircraft was on dry-lease from South African airline Comair, and had been acquired and placed in service by Bhoja Air in February 2012.[13] Minister for Interior A. Rehman Malik said on 22 April 2012 that Farouk Bhoja Chairman of the Airline, had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).[14]


External links[edit]