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History of PIA - Pakistan International Airlines

Photo Gallery of PIA's Finest Men and Women

Air Marshal Malik Nur Khan

Air Marshal Malik Nur Khan  (Abbas Ali Collection)

In this photo from 1960, PIA's very first jetliner (a Boeing 707-321 leased from Pan Am) is taking gentle turn under the command of Malik Nur Khan. Nur Khan was PIA's Managing Director from 1959 to 1965. His success in establishing PIA on a firm and profitable financial basis in six years is now a fact of airline history. Under his charismatic and inspirational leadership PIA became one of the leading and respected airlines of the world. Under his tenure PIA became the first Asian airline to operate jet aircraft. The airline inducted modern Boeing 720B jet in its fleet. PIA started flying to China and flights to Europe via Moscow were also launched during this period. In 1973 Nur Khan was specially requested by the government of Pakistan to resume control of PIA. During his second stint at PIA as airline's Chairman from 1973 to 1978, PIA became operator of wide-body DC-10-30s and Boeing 747s. Nur Khan was a dynamic leader and believed in innovation and new ideas and under his leadership PIA witnessed growth in passenger and freight traffic and expanded route network. All-time popular Green & Gold PIA aircraft livery was also introduced when Nur Khan was airline's Chairman. He kept PIA out of Pakistan's turbulent political arena and returned it to a sound commercial basis

Air Hostess Momi Gul Durrani

Air Hostess Momi Gul Durrani  (Abbas Ali Collection)

In this photo PIA's famous Air Hostess Momi Gul Durrani is seen in airline's 1950s cabin crew uniform. Momi was one of PIA's highly trained, professional and hard working cabin crew members of 1950s and 1960s. She was tall, fair with film-star looks. PIA had featured Momi in its many advertisements and it is said that when she smiled, she made others smile. In short period of time she gained immense popularity and achieved status of a bright star and a legend in PIA's glorious history. Momi was on duty aboard PIA Boeing 720B jetliner which crashed near Cairo Airport on May 20, 1965. Sadly, 114 people, including Momi, died in this tragic accident

Capt. Abdullah Baig and Capt. Taimur Baig

Capt. Abdullah Baig and Capt. Taimur Baig  (Copyright © Aizaz Moin)

This photo is in the collection of Aizaz Moin. In this rare photo you can see PIA pilots who flew airline's brand new Boeing 720-040B (registration AP-AMG) on its record breaking delivery flight from London to Karachi on January 2, 1962. The flight was captained by Capt. Abdullah Baig. With representatives of FAI (Federation Aeronautique International) on board to monitor the official timings, AP-AMG completed the flight in 6 hours 43 minutes and 55 seconds, the record which to this day remains unbroken!! This achievement symbolized the fledgling Pakistani airline's fighting spirit and urge to reach the top. This photo was taken soon after the arrival of record breaking flight at Karachi Airport from London. In the photo you can see PIA's ace pilot Captain Abdullah Baig (left) and his co-pilot Captain Taimur Baig (right). In those days PIA's policy was to have 2 fully rated captains as pilot and co-pilot on jet flights. In the background you can see the record breaking PIA Boeing 720B (registration AP-AMG). This Boeing 720B jetliner was delivered to PIA on December 21, 1961 at Seattle and flown by another crew to London from where Captain Abdullah Baig took command and broke the existing world speed record. On the left side of this photo you can see Aizaz Moin's father Captain Moinuddin Quraishi. Incidentally Capt. Taimur Baig was also Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi's co-pilot when he suffered a heart attack at Tehran in 1961. Capt. Taimur took command and flew the Boeing 707-321 (registration N723PA) to Karachi. This Boeing 707 (registration N723PA) was on lease from Pan Am and it had made PIA the first Asian airline to fly jetliner. Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi was one of the very first Pakistani pilots to fly jetliners

First Officer Johnny Sadiq

(Left to Right) First Officer Johnny Sadiq, Operations Officer Hafeez and First Officer Baakza  (Copyright © Capt. Johnny Sadiq)

This rare photo was taken at Rawalpindi Airport in 1962. If you take a closer look you can see a PIA Douglas DC-3 Dakota on take-off run in the background

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