PIA 777 Handed over to PIA, aircraft to arrive in Islamabad today
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Photo © Paul Dopson
SEATTLE, January 31 (Online): The first Boeing 777-200ER aircraft was handed over to Pakistan International Airline during a special ceremony held here at the Boeing Field.
Chairman PIA, Ahmad Saeed and Boeing Company Vice President and General Manger, John Quinlivan signed the documents on behalf of their respective organizations. Boeing Company top administration and PIA senior officers were also present on the occasion.
Boeing 777-200ER is equipped with most modern equipments, increased safety measures, economical in maintenance and fuel efficient with low operational cost to make it competitive and comparable with other airlines of the world.
The Chairman PIA, Ahmad Saeed announced on the occasion he will be the first revenue passenger of the newly inducted plane.
The PIA engineers, pilots and crew members had already acquired training to handle the aircraft. The plane left Seattle on the same day for Pakistan enroute to London where it picked up 200 passengers, making it a commercial flight.
Ahmad Saeed who formally received the plane said PIA has been turned around and its revenue has increased manifolds. It earned profit of Rs.3.5 billion in 2003 while he hoped it will increase to Rs. 5 billion in 2005.
He conveyed the greetings of president Pervez Musharraf to the US President George Bush and people of the United States.
He said with the induction of this aircraft PIA has entered into a new era of aviation history where it will take a jump-start to touch new horizons. The induction of 7 more craft it had bought from Boeing Company during the next four years will revolutionize the airlines.
Mr. Ahmad Saeed said that the national carrier has been entered into a new era with the induction of Boeing 777-200ER. PIA has purchased eight new Boeing 777 aircraft with the cost of $ 1.4 billion.
The second Boeing 777, of the eight, would reach Pakistan in mid February. PIA would receive third aircraft in March while it will be handed over two 777-200LR in 2006.. The last three 777-300ER will be delivered in 2008.
The aircraft 777-200ERs will seat 327 passengers in a two -class configuration. The 777 sets a new level of comfort and spaciousness for air travel because of its new Boeing Signature Interior.
PIA Chairman said the induction of Boeing 777 is the part of a strategy to built PIA fleet on modern lines and to provide better facilities to the passengers. These aircrafts are equipped with modern equipments and are reasonable for long journey. The induction of Boeing 777 would be helpful to provide better facilities to the ever-increasing number of passengers.
He said Boeing has produced the best planes equipped with the most modern technology. The Boeing 777 family is fuel-efficient and will meet all the requirements of PIA.
With the induction of two more aircraft during the next two months, he said the western sectors will be strengthened. After the restoration of air links with India, Pakistan will get more openings on its eastern sides.
He said PIA appreciates its long-term partnership with Boeing company. He said "PIA was given a task and we have done it." He said sky is the limit and PIA will further progress in the days to come.
Speaking on the occasion Boeing Company Vice President and General Manger, John Quinlivan said that his company would continue partnership with PIA and it would be further strengthened.
Senator from Washington Patty McMurray said Pakistan is a close ally of US in the war against terrorism and the United States appreciates its cooperation in this regard.
PIA is an important Airline, which will win over global market with the induction of these aircrafts, she said adding that the agreement will benefit both the partners.
SEATTLE: Chairman PIA, Ahmed Saeed and Vice President of Boeing, John Quinlivan jointly cutting a ribbon after the acceptance of 777-200ER plane in PIA's fleet during delivery ceremony at Boeing Fields in Seattle, USA.
Jim McDermott, Congressman from Seattle said it is a great day and he is optimistic about the future of this strong partnership.
Mohammad Sadiq, Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan Mission, Washington said it is an historic occasion and it shows us towards bright future. He said PIA will take a jump start now.
Later talking to Online, Chairman PIA Ahmad Saeed said a new era has begun and effective policies are being adopted which will make PIA competitive and comparable with other airlines. The long- standing cooperation with Boeing Company will benefit PIA in a big way.
The Chairman said Pakistan needs more aircraft to face challenges. The change of colours of the planes and uniforms of its crew members will give a new look to the airlines, he added.
The PIA Chairman said Pakistan has signed component exchange programme with Air France and Boeing Company. Later PIA will establish code sharing with Air France, he maintained.
Alan Mulally, the Chief Executive Officer of Boeing said Boeing Company has the honour to enter into long-standing partnership with PIA and it is ready to provide more aircraft to PIA.
After picking up 200 passengers from London , the new aircraft will reach Islamabad at 6.20 am on Saturday.
[Edited 2004-01-31 07:17:37]