Shaheen Air (Urdu: شاہین ایَر) is a private Pakistani airline with its head office in Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Shaheen Air, which provides passenger, cargo and charter services, serves the major cities of Pakistan and the Middle East.
It was founded in December 1993 and commenced operations on 25 October 1994. The airline focuses on cities in northern Pakistan, rather than Karachi. The airline's primary hub is Karachi's Jinnah International Airport, with secondary hubs at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad and at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.
The airline was founded by Khalid Mehmood Sehbai who was the airline's first chairman. The airline is named after the Shaheen falcon, Pakistan's national bird. At first the airline introduced nationwide flights to countrywide destinations. The airline introduced many different flights, but operated mainly between the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Quetta.
Shaheen Air Cargo is a division of Shaheen Air International that was established in 1993, soon after the inception of the airline. Shaheen Air provides special services for sending small consignments that are time-sensitive in nature.
On 22 May 2004, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAA) grounded Shaheen Air as the airline owed it millions of rupees. Three days later the airline was cleared by the CAA to resume its domestic and international operations. The clearance letter was issued by CAA following receipt of a payment from Shaheen Air International towards the outstanding dues and funds. The same year, Shaheen Air International (SAI) became Shaheen Air and the airline introduced a new livery and corporate website.
Today, Shaheen Air is Pakistan's second largest airline next to the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. In its international operations, Shaheen Air also operates between Pakistan and numerous destinations in the Middle East. Shaheen Air has started flight operations to Riyadh with three different routes from Pakistan.
Shaheen Air started its own maintenance repair organization (MRO) by the name of Shaheen Engineering and Aircraft Maintenance Services (SEAMS) which aims to provide maintenance services to Shaheen Air as well as other regional and international airlines.
Shaheen Air mainly operates on domestic and Gulf routes. In 2015 it became the only private airline from Pakistan to fly east, with non-stop flights from Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China; and more recently commenced services between Islamabad and Manchester. Several other destinations are also planned in Thailand, Malaysia, Bahrain, Qatar, Denmark, Norway, Singapore and Italy; as well as Shanghai.
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