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Old November 8th, 2019, 04:16 PM   #2861
KB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malpensa View Post
if going to Bangkok, Singapore Tokyo people will fly Thai or Air China why even PIA needs to fly there?
I and many people preferred flying PIA to Beijing from Islamabad. The load was pretty full up till Beijing. The other leg of this journey would be almost half-load since I believe PIA doesn't have 5th right between Beijing and Tokyo (or anyone would fly even if we had).

PIA has some convenience over others on this route.
- PIA flight is direct (Islamabad - Beijing) while Air China goes through Karachi. PIA is 5.30 hrs while Air China is 10.10 hrs. That is 4 and a half hours which you will have to spend going to Karachi and sitting there on the tarmac since they probably do not allow disembarking.
- PIA ticket was cheaper than Air China.
- PIA has a more generous baggage allowance.
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Old November 9th, 2019, 01:50 AM   #2862
Khanrak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
I and many people preferred flying PIA to Beijing from Islamabad. The load was pretty full up till Beijing. The other leg of this journey would be almost half-load since I believe PIA doesn't have 5th right between Beijing and Tokyo (or anyone would fly even if we had).

PIA has some convenience over others on this route.
- PIA flight is direct (Islamabad - Beijing) while Air China goes through Karachi. PIA is 5.30 hrs while Air China is 10.10 hrs. That is 4 and a half hours which you will have to spend going to Karachi and sitting there on the tarmac since they probably do not allow disembarking.
- PIA ticket was cheaper than Air China.
- PIA has a more generous baggage allowance.
Yes, and Islamabad (or Karachi) could be a convenient hub for price-conscious Chinese travelers going to the Middle East - especially to smaller cities like Muscat, Jeddah, Dhahran/Dammam, Kuwait, Bahrain, Al-Ain, or in the future, Kabul.

PIA can also be price competitive on the Bangkok route by timing it for connections onwards to Europe. Its also worth considering in the future other very popular destinations in SE Asia that arent well served from Europe or ME airlines, like Hanoi Vietnam, Siem Reap Cambodia, and Chiang Mai Thailand. A connection in Islamabad would be more convenient than connections via Shanghai/Beijing/or even Bangkok.

And of course, PIA needs to increase frequencies of direct flights to Gilgit, Chitral, and Skardu from ISL, and launch flights from KHI or LHE too (at least to Skardu which can handle bigger aircraft). Getting a seat on the 2 daily flights to Gilgit is actually quite difficult and needs to be booked far in advance during the summer. Ideally an ATR could also fly a season hopper route from ISL>Skardu>Gilgit>Chitral>ISL>Chitral>Gilgit>Skardu>ISL route too since it would make the whole North much more easily accessible (even though there would be occasional weather cancellations). And given the boom in tourism to the north, it would probably be quite successful, especially since at the moment travellers tend to choose only one of these 3 destinations because the drive between these is horribly long. Currently if you want to fly between any of these three destinations, you have to take a morning flight to ISL and wait all day, spend the night, and take a flight the next morning to your next destination - which is obviously not enticing.
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Last edited by Khanrak; November 9th, 2019 at 02:07 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2019, 11:37 AM   #2863
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
I and many people preferred flying PIA to Beijing from Islamabad. The load was pretty full up till Beijing. The other leg of this journey would be almost half-load since I believe PIA doesn't have 5th right between Beijing and Tokyo (or anyone would fly even if we had).

PIA has some convenience over others on this route.
- PIA flight is direct (Islamabad - Beijing) while Air China goes through Karachi. PIA is 5.30 hrs while Air China is 10.10 hrs. That is 4 and a half hours which you will have to spend going to Karachi and sitting there on the tarmac since they probably do not allow disembarking.
- PIA ticket was cheaper than Air China.
- PIA has a more generous baggage allowance.
PIA has 5th freedom right on that route since 70s
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM   #2864
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanrak View Post
Not just improved service on board, but PIA needs to desperately figure out which cities it wants to use as a hub.

Successful airlines outside of the USA use only one city as a hub, and use that hub to connect passengers through. Even BA uses only London as a hub, and not Manchester. Lots of European airlines choose a single hub, and Lufthansa uses Munich as a much much smaller hub compared to Frankfurt. PIAs glory days were when it served Karachi as its hub, and used it as a hub for flights throughout Asia.

PIA instead is trying to treat three different cities as hubs with far fewer aircraft and passengers than other airlines. Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi are all hubs, and now theyre trying to make Peshawar and Sialkot as additional hubs. This is completely nonsensical because PIA thinks direct flights matter more than convenient frequency. Instead of serving Sialkot-London twice per week, it would be much better to have a daily flight to Islamabad and then a connecting flight to Sialkot scheduled soon after. This would be much more useful. Its better to wait 2 hours for a connecting flight than to wait 2 days for a direct flight.

Yes, there are Mirpuris in England, but those Mirpuris will wait 2 hours in ISL to save money and time compared to a connection in the ME. PIA must make decisions that make financial sense instead of acting like a social service for Pakistani immigrants abroad. These "social service" flights take PIA resources away from more profitable routing. Theres no flight to Shanghai from Pakistan, but we need a flight to Barcelona to Sialkot? PIA is using Pakistani taxpayers to subsidize unprofitable so that Mirpuris in Europe can travel back to Pakistan (this is the main focus of flights to Sialkot, not the business community. Thats why Barcelona is served instead of a business destination like China).

Likewise, Peshawar should not have so much PIA service when ISL is so close. It stretches the airlines resources. Peshawar and Sialkot can be served by foreign airlines rather than PIA wasting money trying out flights that wont be more profitable than serving ISL with connecting flights to domestic locations. The only routes from these airports on PIA should be to Dubai or Jeddah which can sustain profits. PIA instead tried silly routes like Peshawar to Kuala Lumpur, which to no ones surprise, failed.

Instead it should focus on ISL (or Lahore) and Karachi. Use only 2 hub airports and offer 5x-7x/week services (codeshare with other airlines can be signed to achieve these frequencies) to cities throughout asia and europe, with connecting domestic flights 2-2.5 hours afterwards. Make more immigration counters so this wont be a problem. This PIA habit of 1-2 times per week flights is completely stupid, and pushes travelers into using ME airlines that offer frequent service. Theres a random Lahore to Copenhagen flight once a week, but if anyone wants to stay longer or shorter, they just take Turkish instead of scheduling their trip around PIA's schedule.

As for Lahore, foreign airlines can service it, or Lahore can be the hub of Shaheen Air or AirBlue and we can have two big airlines in Pakistan. PIA could also use a routing system in which international flights from the West to ISL continue on to Lahore, but not direct to Lahore. Flights from the East to Lahore can then go on to ISL. For example, London>ISL>Lahore>ISL>London, and Shanghai>Lahore>ISL>Lahore>Shanghai. Its just not feasible to have 3 hubs with less than 50 aircraft.

PIA will not be profitable until it serves as a connecting airline to shuttle passengers who will use Karachi as a hub as Emirates uses Dubai as a hub. Instead of trying to make Pakistan into a transit hub, PIA is harming itself by just serving the market for which Pakistan is the final destination. Successful airlines carry passengers who just transit through hubs airports.

PIA can use its strong network of flights to the Middle East from Karachi to offer connecting service to other cities that Emirates doesnt really serve, but which are huge sources of domestic labour (like Cebu and Davao in Philippines; Medan and Surabaya in Indonesia; Nepalganj in Nepal; Sylhet in Bangladesh; Jaffna in Sri Lanka). A Karachi to Phuket, Colombo, Maldives, or Bali flight would also make sense if its timed within a few hours of flights to London or Paris because then PIA can attract price-conscious backpackers traveling between Europe and SE Asia away from ME airlines.

These routes, if scheduled in conjunction with flights to ME or Europe and with 5x/week frequencies, would make more sense than twice weekly flights between Peshawar and Kuala Lumpur or Sialkot to Barcelona.

Rant over.
Hub and spoke model as what you're describing is slowly becoming outdated and is one of the reasons why the A380 failed and why the 787 and A350 have been booming success. The future of aviation is DIRECT flights...the more direct flights your city has, the more business you invite.

For PIA to pull itself up, it needs more direct flights with more frequency from its major cities and coupled with more aircraft.

A couple of 787s would do PIA a great service. It's cheaper to fly, seats less than the 777...would be ideal for direct daily flights between Pakistan and the UK, while leaving the 777s for North American expansion (more Toronto, return to New York and possibly re-introducing Chicago and Houston).
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Old Yesterday, 10:22 PM   #2865
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once i flew emirates from JFK it reminded me why i take PIA with their horrible service. a 14 hr flight with PIA can easily become 23 hrs with other airlines

The only reason I fly pia are direct flights. if there are no direct flights from canada/usa then PIA might as well not have any flights coming to the Americas.
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