Pak Air and Orient Airways formed PIA?

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Pak Air and Orient Airways formed PIA?

Post by CoyBoy »

I read somewhere that the two carriers were Pakistan's airlines before PIA, is that true? they merged to form the national airline.
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Post by Moin »

Yes thats true. Its also written about in Enver Jamals book 'I remember'.
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Abbas Ali
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Post by Abbas Ali »

I copied following information from an excellent book titled The Story of Air Transport in Pakistan - by M.M. Salim. Mr. Salim was the Managing Director of PIA from 1980 to 1983 and then Chairman of PIA subsidiaries and associated companies from 1983 to 1986.

In this book there are chapters on the history of early Pakistani airlines including Orient Airways and Pak Air.

Pak Air
Pak Air did not play any role in the formation of PIA. Pak Air was formed by Mr. Hussain Malik in 1948 with a fleet of five aircraft. Unfortunately, the airline was not properly organized and lost two DC-3 aircrafts between 1948 and 1950 in fatal accidents (one near Karachi and second one near Multan). In both accidents all passengers and crew members were killed. The airline closed down its operations for good in 1950.

Orient Airways
On Quaid-e-Azam's advice, Orient Airways was formed by Mr. M.A.H. Ispahani in 1946. The airline started operations on June 4, 1947 on Calcutta-Akyab-Rangoon route. Mr. M.A.H. Ispahani was elected as the Chairman of Orient Airways. After Pakistan's independence in 1947, the airline moved its fleet to Pakistan. It operated domestic and regional flights and also linked East Pakistan with West Pakistan.

In 1953, loss of revenue due to BOAC flights, extra cost of foreign pilots and a number of other reasons (details in book) started causing losses to Orient Airways. The directors of Orient Airways had no choice but to accept the invitation by the Pakistan government to Orient Airways to merge with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) which was to become Pakistan's official national flag carrier. So in a meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 5, 1953 an agreement was signed between the government and Orient Airways directors. Following were some of the points in this agreement:

1) Orient Airways should amalgamate with PIA. Its assets as on September 30, 1953, will be taken over by PIA.

2) The value of these assets will be assessed by an international assessor acceptable to both parties.

3) All Orient Airways staff will be taken over by PIA.

It was also agreed that Mr. M.A.H. Ispahani (who was the only man with a lot of experience of running an airline) will be the Chairman of PIA.

Capt. M.M. Salehjee (left) talking to PIA Chairman M.A.H. Ispahani (right) - Photo Copyright Farouk Salehjee

With three brand new Super Constellations PIA started airline operations as a department under Ministry of Defence from June 7, 1954. It was formed into a corporation by Pakistan Government in January 1955.

Orient Airways was operating on behalf of PIA as the agreed amalgamation date was October 1, 1953 but it remained a separate entity. The amalgamation of PIA and Orient Airways took place by a government notification in March 1955 when the operations of Orient Airways, its aircrafts, assets and staff were merged with PIA. Orient Airways as airline ceased to exist. After March 1955 all Orient Airways DC-3s and Convair CV-240s were painted in PIA colors.

Thus ended Orient Airways which was started at the instance of Quaid-e-Azam. It served the nation well during its life time and created a wealth of technicians and overhaul facilities of great value.
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Adnan Anwar
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Post by Adnan Anwar »

Abbas Ali has a dedicated history page

I think this topic should be locked, as no discussion is needed.

Second, PIA history can be found on many different sites

Adnan Anwar