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Airblue Limited is a private
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 with its head office on the 12th floor of the Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) Towers in Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. It is Pakistan's second largest airline with over 20% share of the domestic market. Airblue operates scheduled flights operating 30 daily services linking four domestic destinations and international services to Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, Sharjah
Sharjah (city)
Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

, Muscat
Muscat, Oman
Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

 and Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. It carried 1.4 million passengers on domestic flights in the 2006–07 fiscal year. Its main base is Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

, Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

.

History


The airline was established in 2003 and started operations on 18 June 2004 with 3 leased Airbus A320-200
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

 aircraft serving Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

 with three daily flights in each direction. The airline was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan.

During the first year the airline became very popular, which allowed the airline to compete directly with the flag carrier PIA
Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation commonly known as PIA, is the flag carrier airline of Pakistan. The airline has its head office on the grounds of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. and operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27...

 and the two other private carriers, flying more than 400,000 passengers in the first year with a load factor of over 90%. This allowed the airline to expand into more cities in Pakistan including Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

 and Nawabshah
Nawabshah
Nawabshah , or Shaheed Benazirabad, is a district in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is headquarter of Shaheed Benazir Abad District...

. On 14 August 2005 (Pakistan's 58th Independence Day) Airblue launched its first international flight from Karachi to Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

. On June 4, 2007, Airblue launched its inaugural flight to Manchester using the Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 A321.

Previously the airline's head office was on the ground floor of the Saudi Pak Building in Islamabad.

Destinations


Airblue serves the following destinations (at November 2011).
  • Oman
    • Muscat
      Muscat, Oman
      Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

       - Muscat International Airport
  • Pakistan
    • Islamabad
      Islamabad
      Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

       - Benazir Bhutto International Airport
      Benazir Bhutto International Airport
      Benazir Bhutto International Airport بینظیر بھٹّو بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ is the third-largest airport in Pakistan, serving the capital Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi in the province of Punjab...

       [Focus City]
    • Karachi
      Karachi
      Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

       - Jinnah International Airport
      Jinnah International Airport
      Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

       [Hub]
    • Lahore
      Lahore
      Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

       - Allama Iqbal International Airport
      Allama Iqbal International Airport
      Allama Iqbal International Airport is the second-largest civil airport in Pakistan, serving Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. Originally known as Lahore International Airport, it was renamed in 2003 for Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the Islamic poet-philosopher who was a major advocate for the...

       [Focus City]
    • Peshawar
      Peshawar
      Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

       - Peshawar International Airport
      Peshawar International Airport
      Peshawar International Airport is an airport located in the city of Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Located about a 10-minute drive from the centre of Peshawar, it is the fourth busiest airport in Pakistan...

  • United Arab Emirates
    • Abu Dhabi
      Abu Dhabi
      Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

       - Abu Dhabi International Airport
      Abu Dhabi International Airport
      Abu Dhabi International Airport is an airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the world in terms of passengers , new airline operators, and infrastructural development...

    • Dubai
      Dubai
      Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

       - Dubai International Airport
      Dubai International Airport
      Dubai International Airport is an international airport serving Dubai, the largest city of the United Arab Emirates. It is a major aviation hub in the Middle East, and is the main airport of Dubai. It is situated in the Al Garhoud district, southeast of Dubai...

    • Sharjah
      Sharjah (city)
      Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

       - Sharjah International Airport
      Sharjah International Airport
      Sharjah International Airport is located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.Sharjah Airport is the second largest Middle East Airfreight Hub in terms of cargo tonnage, according to official 2009 statistics from Airports Council International...

  • United Kingdom
    • Manchester
      Manchester
      Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

       - Manchester Airport


Airblue also previously served Faisalabad, Gwadar, Nawabshah and Quetta in Pakistan.

Cabin


Airblue currently operates a mixture of Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 A321s, A320
Airbus A320
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

s A319s. All aircraft are in a 3 by 3 all economy layout. There are several overhead screens located after several rows. The airline dropped its Business class section due to exogenous economic factors. The layout was 2 by 2 with inflight televisions and leather seating and the cockpit of the airblue planes are all digital.

eTicketing



Airblue was the first airline in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 to introduce e-ticketing
Electronic ticket
An electronic ticket is a digital ticket. It may be issued by an airline, in road, urban or rail public transport, and in entertainment.-Airline ticket:...

, wireless check-in and self check-in kiosk facilities. The airline also became a member of Sabre system
Sabre (computer system)
Sabre Global Distribution System , owned by Sabre Holdings, is used by more than 55,000 travel agencies around the world with more than 400 airlines, 88,000 hotels, 24 car rental brands, and 13 cruise lines...

 that is used by over a hundred airlines to help it with ticket automation service.

OnAir deal


OnAir
OnAir
Incorporated in February 2005, OnAir is a joint venture with SITA and Airbus. OnAir is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has operations in Seattle and Montreal and sales offices in London, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai....

 has announced an agreement with Airblue to launch Mobile OnAir voice and data services on up to 12 of its Airbus A320
Airbus A320
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

 aircraft beginning in 2009.

Frequent flyer program


Airblue frequent flyer program is called Blue Miles
Blue Miles
- One Way | Round Trip :Economy:8,Business:1- One Way | Round Trip :Economy:1Business:2...

. Passengers are able to initially start on the base level where sign up is free. Once passenger earn enough miles, there are upgrades to the Blue Card followed by the Platinum Card. In May 2009, the airline formed an alliance with The Royal Bank of Scotland Limited
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group is a British banking and insurance holding company in which the UK Government holds an 84% stake. This stake is held and managed through UK Financial Investments Limited, whose voting rights are limited to 75% in order for the bank to retain its listing on the...

 (RBS
RBS
-Banking:* Royal Bank of Scotland - Scottish high street bank** Royal Bank of Scotland Group - A majority British state owned Scottish holding company, which owns Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and others-Defence:...

) to launch its summer promotion on its credit cards.

Lounges


Airblue inaugurated its own premium lounge at Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

, Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 in November 2008. Nicknamed, the Blue Lounge International, it was designed for business class passengers, credit card holders and privileged customers. The lounge offers a number of Internet facilities, cable television, newspapers and magazines, massage chairs as well as a snack bar. It is located in the international terminal of the airport.

Joint venture with JS Air


To comply with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations the airline started operating on socio-economic routes by flying to Nawabshah
Nawabshah
Nawabshah , or Shaheed Benazirabad, is a district in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is headquarter of Shaheed Benazir Abad District...

 in central Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

.

To overcome the issue of non-compliance Airblue entered into a joint venture with start-up charter airline JS Air to operate flights on its behalf on socio-economic routes. This represented the first time in Pakistani aviation history that 2 air operators entered into a joint venture arrangement. The first destination under this agreement was the port city of Gwadar
Gwadar
Gwadar also known as Godar is a developing port city on the southwestern Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan. It is the district headquarters of Gwadar District in Balochistan province and has a population of approximately 50,000.Gwadar is strategically located at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the...

 which was connected to the Airblue network on 17 June and was served twice daily, except Fridays, from Karachi. The flights were operated using JS Air's 19 seater Beech 1900
Beechcraft 1900
The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop airplane manufactured by the Beechcraft Division of the Raytheon Company . It was designed, and is primarily used, as a regional airliner...

C aircraft which are specifically suited to serving low yield 'commuter' destinations.

Cost cutting measures


To deal with the fuel price hike worldwide, Airblue is converted their fleet to all economy class. This will also be applied to their new aircraft. They also ended full meal services and replaced it with snacks on domestic flights. In 2006 Airblue did away with chinaware crockery service for meals on domestic possibly Gulf routes to cut costs and weight, replacing it with plasticware as per normal industry practice.

Ground services


Passengers may check-in between two to 48 hours prior to flight departure. This may be done over the counter or at the self-service kiosks. Currently self service kiosks are available at Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

 and Allama Iqbal International Airport
Allama Iqbal International Airport
Allama Iqbal International Airport is the second-largest civil airport in Pakistan, serving Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. Originally known as Lahore International Airport, it was renamed in 2003 for Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the Islamic poet-philosopher who was a major advocate for the...

. Dnata
Dnata
Dnata is one of the largest suppliers of combined air services in the world offering ground handling, cargo, travel, and flight catering services across five continents. With a global footprint of 37 countries, Dnata employs over 20,000 employees for its operations worldwide.-History:Dnata was...

 the aviation services company handles the ground and passenger handling for the airline at all of the airports the airline operates from. Gate Gourmet
Gate Gourmet
Gate Gourmet is an airline catering firm with headquarters on the grounds of Zürich Airport, Switzerland, near Zürich.Gate Gourmet was founded in 1992, and is the world's largest independent airline catering, hospitality and logistics company...

 provides food and beverage services to the airline.

Cargo operations


Airblue have launched e-Cargo service to cater to air freight markets of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, UAE
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 and UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. According to a press release, e-Cargo will broaden the base of cargo and permit certified agents to book freight directly online opening the inventory through the web.

Fleet


As Of December 2011 Airblue Fleet Consists Of Following Aircraft As Average Age Of 3.5 Years:
  • 4 Airbus A319-100
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

  • 1 Airbus A320-200
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

  • 0 Airbus A321-200
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...



Orders and deliveries


In November 2007, Airblue signed an agreement to purchase eight more A320 aircraft bringing the airline's total order up to 14. The deal is worth $520 million at catalogue prices. The aircraft will be configured to seat 157 passengers in 2 classes.
"We're looking at expanding our destinations to Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore over the next three years," Shahid Abbasi, Air Blue's chief operating officer, said at the signing ceremony at the Dubai airshow.

Achievements and recognitions


  • First airline in Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     and only the third carrier in the region behind Emirates
    Emirates Airline
    Emirates is the airline based in the Emirate of Dubai part of the United Arab Emirates . Based at Dubai International Airport it is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,400 flights per week, from its hub at Terminal 3, to 111 cities in 62 countries across six continents...

     and Royal Jordanian
    Royal Jordanian
    Royal Jordanian Airlines is the flag carrier of Jordan with its head office in Amman, Jordan, operating scheduled international services over four continents from its main base at Queen Alia International Airport at Amman Jordan. Royal Jordanian is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization...

     to introduce the state-of-the-art self-service check-in facilities at Jinnah International Airport
    Jinnah International Airport
    Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

    , Karachi
    Karachi
    Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

    .
  • First private airline in Pakistan to initiate long-haul services on (Islamabad
    Islamabad
    Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

    -Manchester
    Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

    ) sector in 2007.
  • First private airline within Pakistan to place an order for new aircraft.
  • First airline in Pakistan to start e-ticketing online.
  • First airline in Pakistan to start self check in kiosks in Karachi.
  • Airblue makes a fuel stop at Trabzon
    Trabzon Airport
    Trabzon Airport is an airport near the city of Trabzon in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. In 2009, it served 1,596,905 passengers, of which mostly were on domestic routes. In 2009, Trabzon Airport ranked 9th in terms of total passenger traffic, and 7th in terms of domestic traffic among...

     in Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     when flying to and from Manchester
    Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

    . This route is the longest route operated by an A319 aircraft in the world, and the longest scheduled route operated by an Airbus narrowbody aircraft (excluding the Airbus A319LR).

Incidents and accidents


Airblue Flight 202
Airblue Flight 202
Airblue Flight 202 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight which crashed on 28 July 2010 near Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, killing all 146 passengers and six crew on board. It is the deadliest air accident to occur in Pakistan to date...

 crashed on 28 July 2010 near Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

in Margalla Hills, killing all 146 passengers and six crew members on board.

Further reading


External links