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Shaheen Air
Founded 1993
Focus cities
Fleet size 12
Destinations 13 (5 Domestic, 8 International)
Headquarters Karachi, Pakistan
Key people Khalid Mahmud Sehbai (Chairman & CEO)

Shaheen Air or formally known as Shaheen Air International is a private airline that provides passenger, cargo, and charter services. It serves the major cities of Pakistan and Persian Gulf. It was established in December 1993 and on October 25, 1994, it was accorded the status of 'Second National Carrier of Pakistan', by the Government of Pakistan. Its main base is Jinnah International Airport (KHI), Karachi, with a hub at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), Islamabad.

Besides serving major domestic routes i.e Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, Shaheen Air has also been operating flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Kuwait, Doha and Muscat from almost all the major international gateways of Pakistan.



The airline was established and started operations in December 1993. It was formed as a project of the Shaheen Foundation, that is named after the Peregrine falcon within the Pakistan Air Force. In October 1994 it was designated as the second national carrier of Pakistan and in February 1995 began international operations, with a scheduled service between Peshawar and Dubai. When the airline started it operated a fleet of leased Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft on most of its domestic flights. Shaheen Air International (SAI) was given the status of being the "second national airline of Pakistan" during the first couple of years of operation, however this status is no longer recognised.

In July 2002, the airline management was changed when it was taken over by TAWA International Inc. of Canada. The new chairman of Shaheen Air, Khalid M Sehbai, made a foreign direct investment in Shaheen Air with the objective of taking the airline as successful as its past. During November 2004, the airline inducted its first Boeing 737-200 Advanced for its main route of Karachi-Lahore-Karachi, which allowed the phasing out of its Soviet russian aircraft.

During 2005, the cargo division of the airline also grew when it signed an accord with the Pakistan Post and British Airways Cargo. For cargo use, Shaheen Air Cargo acquired Il-76 aircraft. The aircraft were used on Dubai-Karachi routes. The initial two flights on January 3 and 5 carried about 100 metric tonnes export cargo that was delivered at Dubai for onward transportation to Europe and USA by British Airways flights.

Shaheen Air launched a new corporate image in 2006. This aircraft represents the new livery currently used by the airline

In 2006, Shaheen Air International (SAI) became Shaheen Air and the airline introduced a new livery and corporate website. The airline also introduced flights to Quetta from Karachi. The Governor of Balochistan said that the improvement of air links were also discussed in the ongoing talks between Pakistan and Iran and he has offered the management of Shaheen Air to operate Quetta-Zahidan flights. Initially SAI operated eight flight to Karachi-Quetta and Quetta-Lahore. He announced that SAI would also be allowed to operate flights between Islamabad and Quetta. On May 22, 2006 the Civil Aviation Authority stopped all flights of Shaheen Air as it owed millions of rupees to the CAA. On May 25, 2006 Shaheen Air was cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to resume its domestic and international operations. The clearance letter was issued by CAA following receipt of the cheque from SAI towards payment of the outstanding dues. On September 18, 2006, it was announced that Shaheen Air was to start a four times weekly service from Islamabad to Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield in the UK.[1] However, no flights were ever launched to Doncaster.

On October 2007, Shaheen Air International announced at the World Travel Market in London that they would be commencing flights from Islamabad to London Luton Airport. On November 2007, Shaheen Air International acquired two Airbus A310-300 aircraft from Turkish company, Saga Airlines.[2] The first A310-300 (TC-SGC) had an all-white colour scheme with large Shaheen Air titles on both side of the fuselage. The aircraft flies twice weekly on both the new Islamabad-Lahore-Kuwait route. On February 7, 2008, their second UK destination Leeds Bradford Airport flights were launched. The twice weekly service to Leeds Bradford Airport was discontinued, however, no reason was released to the press. The A310-300s was return to Saga Airlines in 2009 and all UK routes were discontinued.

Corporate management



Shaheen Air International (SAI) is fully owned by, TAWA International Incorporated, a private firm based in Canada. The airline is controlled by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Khalid Mahmud Sehbai as well as the Board of Directors. The Board consists of six additional independent non-executive members and the Board of Management. The board members are appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. The airline headquarters are located in the prestigious district of Clifton, Karachi.


Shaheen Air International is a subsidiary of the Shaheen Foundation, a welfare organization of Pakistan Air Force. Since the formation of the airline, the foundation has been a supportive organisation that have kept the company expanding due to its diverse subsidiaries.



Shaheen Air operate a fleet of Boeing 737-200Adv aircraft as well as a select number of DC-9s. The Boeing 737s are in an all economy class layout with the capacity to seat 125 passengers.

Newspapers and magazines

Shaheen Air publishes its own in-house inflight magazine called Parwaz (Urdu for "Flight"). Also all passengers have the opportunity to chose Urdu and english newspapers and magazines on all domestic and international flights.

Ground Handling

The airline uses a number of ground handling companies within Pakistan as well at its oversea operations. Shaheen Airport Services (SAPS) took exclusive ground handling operations of the airline in 2009 for all airports the airline operated from within Pakistan. Dnata also signed a contract with the airline to provide any additional services to the airline for all airports outside Pakistan.


Passengers have the ability to pre-book any flight on the airline's website to any domestic and international routes operated by the airline. Passengers can book online and pay at their nearest booking office. The passenger will be given an e-Ticket instead of the standard paper booking ticket.[3]


Passengers may check-in between two to 48 hours prior to flight departure. This may be done over the counter or at the lounge within the airport. Self-service kiosks are also available at Jinnah International Airport. Passengers will automatically be given a computer generated booking number and assigned baggage tag.[4]

Cargo operations

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 which are time sensitive in nature. Other services include: Perishable Cargo, Live Animals, Valuable Cargo, Special Cargo as well as Courier Services.[5]


Shaheen Air International operates the following services (at June 2009):

Terminated destinations

  • Pakistan - Faisalabad, Multan[6], Quetta, Sukkur
  • United Kingdom - Leeds/Bradford[7]


The Shaheen Air International fleet includes the following aircraft (as of January 2010) [8]:

Passenger Fleet
Type Total Passengers
Routes Notes
Boeing 737-200 12 124 Short and Medium haul [9]



External links



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