Executive Traveller exclusive
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) intends to soar into Sydney in April as the flag carrier begins a long-awaited direct service connecting the NSW capital with Lahore.
Although the initial schedule shows just one flight per week, this will slash the current travel time in half, from around 25 hours including stopovers to just under 13 hours.
While a firm start date doesn’t appear to be set, flight PK9808 is slated to take off from Lahore at 7:15pm on Fridays, touching down in Sydney at 12:45pm the following day.
The aircraft will then remain parked at Sydney Airport until Sunday evening, when PK9809 pushes back at 7:45pm to reach Lahore at 3.45am Monday, subject to approval by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Passengers will travel on the airline’s Boeing 777-200LR, where the 35 very dated business class recliners in a 2-3-2 layout are sold as ‘Executive Economy’ class, ahead of 275 economy seats in a 3-3-3 set-up.
Lahore is one of PIA’s three hubs, alongside the capital of Islamabad and the sprawling coastal metropolis of Karachi, with connections fanning out across the nation and to nearby countries, along with London, Birmingham, Manchester and the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
There are also codeshare flights with partners including Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, WestJet and FlyDubai to deliver a wider international network.
While Pakistan International Airlines doesn’t belong to Star Alliance, SkyTeam or Oneworld, its Awards+ Plus loyalty program offers the usual three tiers (Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond) with perks such as free seat selection, priority baggage and access to PIA’s business class lounges.