AirSial: A Startup Airline

by Abubakar Shoaib

AirSial is a startup airline launched by the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Sialkot has a lot of contributions for Pakistan such as this alone city exports $2.5 billion of goods and services. Sialkot Airport was also an initiative of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry and now AirSial. The airline is ready to launch its first flight in December 2020.

The airline has faced many hurdles in its initiation process. When they first get their license for flight operation they failed to fulfill the conditions for obtaining Air Operation Certificate (AOC) before starting flight operation. According to aviation law when an airline fails to obtain AOC within two years of getting its license. They are charged with 10 percent of the total security and they have to apply again for the license. This delayed the startup for two years but the federal government waived off all the charges and renewed their license and showed a green light to start their operations.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has provided a detailed document that the company has done efforts to full fill regulatory requirements and finalize the Letter of Intent (LOI). This letter confirms that the company can lease the aircraft.

AirSial will obtain aircraft on lease from Aercap which is an Ireland based company. As per the agreement, Aercap will provide three A320s to AirSial in the second quarter of 2020. Aercap is the biggest aircraft lesser in Pakistan’s aviation sector. AirSial will run domestic flights in the first phase.

In the later phase, the company will consider international routes such as Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. The company has the vision to become the leading airline in the region. AirSial main base will be Sialkot International Airport and the second base will be Jinnah International Airport. AirSial is the fifth airline of Pakistan to get a commercial flying license. The increasing number of airlines in the market will increase the competition and thus will increase quality and reduce prices.

It is indeed surreal to see new airlines starting their operations in these afflicting times. While we are excited to see the new heights this new airline can achieve, we would like to hear from you if this would be the right time for a new airline to launch its commercial operations, given that air travel is still recovering? We would love to hear from you!

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