In a bid to facilitate Private Airlines operating in Pakistan, the federal government has relaxed the Article 4.5 National Aviation Policy 2019, to facilitate private airlines Airblue and Serene Air.

In this regard, Aviation Division had previously proposed the federal cabinet to relax Article 4.5 of National Aviation Policy (NAP)-2019 in favour of Airblue and Serene Air, allowing them to continue international flight operations while also commencing new International Routes.

Subsequently, the federal cabinet, in its meeting held on Dec 8 had considered the summary submitted by the Aviation Division and approved the proposal accordingly.

What is Article 4.5 of National Aviation Policy?

Government of Pakistan, in order to promote Aviation Industry in the country had implemented National Aviation Policy back in 2019. As per Article 4.5 (a) of the said policy, Pakistani Air Lines are required to operate on both primary and socio-economic routes. This requires Airlines to operate five per cent of their capacity — available seat kilometres (ASK) — each on primary and socio-economic routes.

However, Serene Air and Airblue both have remained unable to operate five per cent of their capacity on primary and socio-economic routes as required under the said article.

The Airlines in Paksitan are going through a rough patch at the moment owing to Covid-19 situation and are suffering from lower Revenues hence it is unlikely for Serene Air and Airblue to fulfill requirements of satisfactory operations on primary and socio-economic routes anytime soon.

Paksitan’s Airblue, besides operating between major cities in te country is also operating flights to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia

While Serene Air has plans to start its operations to the United Kingdom, China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The relaxation to NAP rules for Serene Air comes with an undertaking from Serene Air that It will fly as per requirements of NAP-2019 on primary and socio-economic routes as soon as possible after Covid-19 pandemic was over.

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