Rise and Demise of Shaheen Air

 

Rise and Demise of Shaheen Air

Shaheen Air, a name that a long associated history stretched over 20 years of aviation business in Pakistan Aviation. The Shaheen Foundation founded shaheen Air. A trust organization created for the welfare of Pakistan Airforce retired officers and their family members. Shaheen Airline remained under the foundation till the late 90s. Later the airline was taken over by the Sehbai family. The airline was the longest-serving private airline in Pakistan until it declared bankruptcy in 2018.

Rise of Shaheen Air
Shaheen Air was considered the second national flag carrier of Pakistan. Shaheen airline was formally launched in 1993. It operated both domestic and international routes. Shaheen Air was the first Pakistani private airline to operate direct flights between Guangzhou, China, and Lahore, Pakistan. It was also the first Pakistani private airline to operate direct flights to Pakistan and Malaysia. It was also the first Pakistani private airline to operate Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft.

Shaheen Air operated between Pakistan and ten other countries. The airline operated several fleets during its operation. The airline started operations with Boeing 737-200. During its operations, Shaheen Air operated several leased Tupelov TU-54 and Airbus A310 aircraft. Most of the old fleet was phased out and replaced by Boeing 737-400 till the early 2010s when airlines started to replace Boeing 737s with Airbus A320s. Shaheen Air introduced Airbus A330s in 2013, and they operated for the airline for at least 6 years. Later in 2017, Shaheen Air replaced its aging A330-300s with Airbus A330-200s.

The demise of Shaheen Airline
The airline was owned by two brothers of the Sehbai Family, Kashif & Ehsan Sehbai. Shaheen Air was growing exponentially, and it was extremely focused on rapid expansion until 2017. Shaheen Air operated a total number of 19 aircraft when it was on the days of exponential growth. The primary customer base was the domestic passenger and labor class traveling to Middle Eastern countries.

He also accused of exploitation of bribes asked by PCAA. During his interview, he indicated that if the Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan does not ease their illegal sanctions on Shaheen Air, they will shut the airline in the next two years. History was made, exactly one year after this interview, Shaheen Air ceased operations in October 2018.

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