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Airlines

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Name: AIRBLUE
7JetSet7 Code: ABU
Status: Operational
Region: ORIENT
City: ISLAMABAD
Country: PAKISTAN
Employees 300
Web: airblue.com
Email: writetous@airblue.com
Telephone: +92 51 280 0176
Fax: +92 51 280 0173
Sita:
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
ABU-2004-05-NEWS
ABU-2004-08-NEWS
ABU-2004-09
ABU-2005-10-A
ABU-2005-11-A
ABU-2006-01-A
ABU-2016-03 - Karachi to Peshawar.jpg
ABU-LOGO

Formed in 2003 and started operations in 2004. Scheduled, domestic & international, passenger, jet airplane services.

Address:
Ground Floor, Saudi Pak Tower
Blue Area
Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

Pakistan (Islamic Republic of Pakistan) was established in 1947, it covers an area of 796,095 sq km, its population is 144 million, its capital city is Islamabad, and its official languages are Urdu and English.

November 2003: Received its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC).

April 2004: Karachi - Lahore - Islamabad (3/day). Plans to add service to Multan and Sukkur, and later to the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

2 A320-231's (V2500-A1) (394; 443), ex-Thomas Cook Belgium (TCW), Jetscape leased.

May 2004: A320-232 (760), (ILF) leased.

June 2004: 1st flight, Karachi - Lahore and Islamabad (3/day).

July 2004: Signs with Sabre Air Solutions for SabreSonic's Passenger solutions and Sabre AirOps Load Manager.

October 2004: 1 A320 (V2527), ex-Middle East Airlines (MEA), (ILF) leased til May 2007.

November 2004: Karachi - Peshawar (3/week). In 2005, to Dubai, & Bangkok.

August 2005: Due to inability of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to meet increased demand, the Pakistan government opened up air routes to the USA, UK, and Scandinavia for the nation's private airlines Aero Asia (ASU), Shaheen Air (SHK) and AirBlue (ABU), who had been limited to Gulf and ASEAN destinations.

$800 million, 8 orders A320-200's and 2 orders A330-200's.

November 2005: A320-232 (640, TC-OGI), AtlasJet (ABE) wet-leased.

December 2005: ILFC (ILF) announced the lease of 2 used A321-231s (1199, AP-BJA; 1218), ex-Aero Flight (ACH)/(AEF) to AirBlue (ABU) of Pakistan for 5 years. The airplanes are scheduled to be delivered later this month.

March 2006: Airblue (ABU) will inaugurate nonstop service from Islamabad to Manchester on May 15th. The daily flight is programmed to be operated with an A320.

July 2006: AirBlue (ABU) operates daily, domestic and regional, passenger, jet airplane services to the country's busiest routes and to the neighboring Gulf.

(IATA) Code: ED. (ICAO) Code: ABQ (Callsign - PAKBLUE).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Islamabad; Karachi; Lahore; Peshawar; & Quetta.

International, scheduled destination: Dubai.

November 2006: Airbus (EDS) won two A320 firm orders from Pakistani carrier AirBlue (ABU). (ABU), which currently operates six A320 family airplanes, is in negotiations to add four more of the type to its order for two, (EDS) said. (ABU), which launched in 2004, plans to configure the A320s into a 157-seat dual-class arrangement. (EDS) noted that the airline "hopes" to launch international services, including a flight to the UK, "in the near future."

A321-231 (963, TC-IEH), Inter Express Airlines (IAW) wet-leased for winter.

February 2007: A321-1310 (1008, N108DE), ex-(ANA), AerCap (DEA) leased.

May 2007: Starting June 1st, Islamabad - Manchester, using A321s.

June 2007: Introduced e-ticketing, wireless check-in, and self check-in kiosk facilities to Pakistan.

AirBlue launched the first long-haul flights by a privately owned Pakistani airline with services to Manchester via Ankara.

November 2007: AirBlue (ABU) signed a contract for eight A320s, adding to the six it ordered a year ago. No delivery date or engine choice were announced for the airplanes, which will be configured with 157 seats in two classes. Airbus (EDS) said the carrier "hopes to expand routes to additional international destinations."

July 2008: AirBlue (ABU) placed a $185 million order for (CFM56-5B)s to power 14 A320s scheduled for delivery from 2009. In addition, it signed an integrated services package covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) for the fleet. All of AirBlue (ABU)'s new (CFM56-5B)s will be in the Tech Insertion configuration.

September 2008: Now flying to Abu Dhabi from Lahore and will begin Lahore - Muscat flights.

May 2009: AJW Aviation (AJW) announced a 5-year power-by-the-hour contract extension with AirBlue (ABU), extending (AJW) support to cover a further 11 A319s and A321s being inducted into the fleet until 2011. The extension supplements an existing power-by-the-hour agreement between the companies.

August 2009: A320-214 (3974, AP-EDA), delivery - - SEE PHOTO - - "ABU-A320-214-2009-08."

February 2010: 737-86J (20641, YR-BID), delivery, ex-(D-ABBP).

July 2010: ACCDT: An AirBlue (ABU) A321-231 (V2533-A5) (1218, /00 AP-BJP), (ILF) leased in 2006/01, crashed on landing approach at Islamabad International airport at 9:45 am local time on a flight from Karachi = all fatalities of 6 (FC) - (CA)/146 passengers. The airplane had accumulated approximately 34,000 flight hrs and 13,500 cycles.

The airplane went down in the Margalla Hills around 15 km from Islamabad International Airport, according to multiple press reports. A statement on the airline's website described the weather as "poor with thick fog." Flight ED202 departed Karachi around 7:45 am local time for the approximately 2-hour trip.

August 2010: Employees = 980.

December 2010: SR Technics (SWS) reached a 7-year contract with Airblue (ABU) to provide the carrier with overhaul, repair and engine on-wing condition monitoring services on its (CFM56) engines, covering A319s and A320s.

(AWAS) (AWW) delivered 2 A319-112s (3364, AP-EDB; 3403, AP-EDC), ex-Hamburg International (HAU) to AirBlue (ABU).

May 2011: AirBlue (ABU) will operate 7x-weekly, Lahore - Abu Dhabi seasonal summer service, up from the 4x-weekly it operated the previous season.

April 2012: AirBlue (ABU) operates daily, domestic and regional, passenger, jet airplane services linking Faisalabad; Islamabad; Karachi; Lahore; Peshawar; and Quetta, as well as international services from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar to Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Manchester; Muscat; and Sharjah.

Employees = 300.

Parent organization/shareholders: Privately owned (100%).

(IATA) Code: ED. (ICAO) Code: ABQ (Callsign - PAKBLUE).

Main base: Karachi Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah International airport (KHI).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Faisalabad; Islamabad; Karachi; Lahore; Peshawar; & Quetta.

International, scheduled destination: Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Manchester; Muscat; and Sharjah.

June 2012: AirBlue (ABU) has announced plans to lease two ex-Turkish Airlines (THY) A340-300s from September to increase the number of long-haul destinations served. It currently serves Manchester Ringway International airport (MAN) three times weekly from Islamabad Chaklala Benazir Bhutto International airport (ISB) with a stop at Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen International airport (SAW) using A319-112s. (ABU) is reportedly planning to operate flights to Manchester non-stop once the A340-300s arrive and serve additional destinations in Europe and South East Asia. In other news, it is considering adding several DHC-8-400s for regional routes in the North of Pakistan.

August 2012: A320-214 (1467, AP-EDD), EX-(EI-CVD), Air Lease (ALE) leased.

September 2012: A340-313X (257, AP-EDF), ex-(TC-JLK), (ILF) leased.

October 2012: AirBlue (ABU) will fly A340s to Manchester from Islamabad next month.

Turkish (THY) Technic signed a "C" Check maintenance services agreement with Airblue Limited (ABU) covering 1 A319.

July 2013: airblue (ABU), Pakistan’s 2nd-largest airline with around 20% of domestic market, commenced services on the 2,900 km route from Karachi (KHI) to Jeddah (JED) on July 9th. A 3x-weekly schedule is offered on the route using A319s in competition with (PIA) (6x-weekly), Saudia (SVA) (6) and Shaheen Air (SHN) (2). The new service comes in addition to the 3x-weekly flights to Jeddah from Lahore, which had been launched earlier.

October 2013: airblue (ABU) now connects Islamabad (ISB) in Pakistan non-stop with Birmingham (BHX) in the UK. A 342-seat A340 will be used to operate the 2x-weekly service that originates in Lahore (LHE), creating a one-stop, same airplane link between Lahore and Birmingham. Raza Chana, airblue (ABU)’s Country Manager UK, said: “airblue is delighted to announce services to Islamabad and Lahore from Birmingham starting this September. We hope to continue on the success we have had so far in the UK and look forward to working with Birmingham Airport and the Midlands’ Pakistani community to make sure these services are a success and to grow our operation in the future.” Martyn Lloyd, Birmingham Airport’s Commercial Director, added: “>200,000 British Pakistani’s live in the West Midlands, so we’re really pleased to be able to announce these new flights, which will give business and leisure passengers even more choice from Birmingham to Pakistan.” Competition on the Islamabad route comes from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), who currently operate 3x-weekly flights using 777s.

(KfW) (IPEX)-Bank and (AWAS) Aviation Capital (AWW) have closed the 6th financing under their 8 airplane (ECA) supported financing facility. The A320 was delivered new to Pakistani Airblue (ABU) Ltd and will be on a long-term operating lease to (ABU). The transaction closed December 17. A 2nd A320 will follow in January 2014.

December 2014: A320-214 (5891, A6-EDG), (AWAS) (AWW) leased.

February 2014: (KfW) (IPEX)-Bank and (AWAS) Aviation Capital have closed the financing transaction for the long-term operating lease of a 7th Airbus A320, which was delivered new to Airblue (ABU).

January 2015: A321-231 (1869, UR-WRJ), Wind Rose Aviation leased, ex-(UR-DAF).

February 2016: 2 A321-211 (5966, AP-BMM; 6016, AP-BMN), ex-(VQ-BRT, VQ-BRS), deliveries.

March 2016: airblue (ABU) has resumed service on 2 domestic routes from Karachi (KHI) in Pakistan. On March 4 (ABU) began 2x-weekly (Fridays and Sundays) flights on the 422 km route to Rahim Yar Khan (RYK), which is already served by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at the same frequency. Then on March 7, (ABU) restarted daily service on the 1,093 km route to Peshawar (PEW), which is also already served by (PIA) with 8x-weekly flights. Both routes will be flown by (ABU)’s A320s.

April 2016: Airblue (ABU) has extended its contract with SR Technics (SWS) covering maintenance of the (CFM56-5B) engines powering its A320 fleet.

The agreement, worth $30 million and running until 2022, extends on a previous 7-year contract between the parties for the same services.

Sadia Mohammad (ABU)’s Deputy Managing Director for operations, said (ABU), the Islamabad-based airline, extended its contract because of (SWS)’s track record servicing its (CFM) engines. “It is a record which clearly demonstrates that SR Technics (SWS) provides the Swiss quality levels and safety stamp at the competitive rates that Airblue (ABU) and its customers prize greatly,” she said.

August 2016: A321-211 (7171, AP-BMW), Avolon leased, ex-(D-ABCU) (ferried East Midlands, UK to Lahore).

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
ABU-A319-SEP08
ABU-A320-214-AUG09
ABU-A320-232
ABU-A321-JUN07

March 2017:

0 737-86J (CFM56-7B) (20641, YR-BID), EX-(D-ABBP) 2010-02. RTND.

2 A319-112 (CFM56-5B6/3) (3385, /08 AP-BIE; 3388, /08 AP-BIF - - SEE PHOTO - - "ABU-A319-2008-09"), EX-(EI-DZY & EI-DZZ), AERVENTURE LSD 2008-08. 144Y.

2 A319-112 (CFM56-5B5/P) (3364, /08 AP-EDB; 3403, /08 AP-EDC), (AWW) LSD 2011-01, EX-(HAU), EX-(D-AHIH; & D-AHII). 150Y.

11 ORDERS A320-214 (CFM56-B4/3), 158Y:

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (1467, AP-EDD), EX-(AP-EDD), (ALE) LSD 2012-08. 158Y.

0 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (2540, LZ-FBC; 2596, LZ-FBD), RETURNED TO BULGARIA AIR (LZB) 2014-04. 158Y.

6 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (3974, /10 AP-EDA - - SEE PHOTO - - "ABU-A320-214-2009-08" 2009-08; 4447, AP-EDC; 4487, AP-EDD; AP-EDE; AP-EDF). 158Y.

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (5891, A6-EDG), EX-(F-WWIV), (AWAS) (AWW) LSD 2013-12. 158Y.

1 A320-231 (V2500-A1) (394, /92, AP-BGU; 443, /93 AP-BGV), EX-(TCW), (ILF) LSD 2004-04. 394; RTND. 158Y.

0 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (640, TC-OGI), (ABE) WET-LSD 2005-11 RTND. 20C, 126Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (760, /97 AP-BGW), EX-(MEA), (ILF) LSD 2004-05. 158Y.

1 A321-211 (7171, AP-BMW), EX-(D-ABCU), AVOLON LSD (2016-08).

0 A321-231 (V2533-A5) (963, TC-IEH), (DEA) LSD, (IAW) WET-LSD 2006-11. RTND. 195Y.

1 A321-231 (V2530-A5) (1008, /99 AP-PRJ), EX-(ANA), (DEA) LSD 2007-01. RTND. 195Y.

1 A321-231 (V2533-A5) (1199, /00 AP-BJA; 1218, /00 AP-BJB - - CRASHED & DESTROYED W/O IN ACCDT IN JULY 2010), EX-(ACH)/(AEF), (ILF) LSD 2005-12. 185Y.

1 A321-231 (V2533-A5) (1869, UR-WRJ), WIND ROSE AVIATION LSD 2015-01. EX-(UR-DAF). 185Y.

2 A321-231 (V2533-A5) (5966, AP-BMM; 6016, AP-BMN), EX-(VQ-BRT; VQ-BRS)

2 ORDERS A330-200, 278 PAX:

1 A340-313X (1467, AP-EDD), EX-(TC-JLK), (ILF) LSD 2012-09. 342 PAX.

Management:
(definitions)

TARIQ MEHMOOD CHAUDHARY, CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

SHAHID KHAQAN ABBASI, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO).

MS SADIA MOHAMMAD, DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR OPERATIONS.

ASIF IKRAM, CUSTOMER SERVICES EXECUTIVE.

ASIF BEG, CUSTOMER SERVICES EXECUTIVE.

IRFAN ARSHAD, AIRPORT OPERATIONS.

RAZA CHANA, COUNTRY MANAGER UK.

 
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