Shaheen Air (Urdu: شاہین ایئر) was a private Pakistani airline with its head office at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi and was founded by the Shehbai family. It remained Pakistan's second-largest airline until its liquidation in 2018 due to financial troubles. In December 2018, the owners of the airline, Kashif Mehmud Sehbai and Ehsan Khalid Sehbai, fled to Canada to avoid debt-related prosecution. The airline owed ₨ 1.36 billion to Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAA) and its employees salaries.
|Commenced operations||25 October 1994|
|Ceased operations||08 October 2018|
|Hubs||Jinnah International Airport|
It provided passenger, cargo and charter services, to major cities in Pakistan and the Middle East. It suspended all operations in October 2018.
Shaheen Air Cargo was a division of Shaheen Air International that was established in 1993, soon after the inception of the airline. Shaheen Air provided special services for sending small time-sensitive consignments.
On 22 May 2004, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAA) grounded Shaheen Air as the airline owed it millions of rupees. Three days later the airline was cleared by the CAA to resume its domestic and international operations. The clearance letter was issued by CAA following receipt of a payment from Shaheen Air International towards the outstanding dues and funds. The same year, Shaheen Air International (SAI) became Shaheen Air and the airline introduced a new livery and corporate website.
Shaheen Air started its own maintenance repair organization (MRO) by the name of Shaheen Engineering and Aircraft Maintenance Services (SEAMS) to provide maintenance services to Shaheen Air as well as other regional and international airlines.
In its international operations, Shaheen Air operated between Pakistan and numerous destinations in the Middle East. Shaheen Air once started flight operations to Riyadh with three different routes from Pakistan.
Shaheen Air was Pakistan's second-largest airline next to the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines but due to the downturn in 2018, the airline declined. The airline was declared a defaulter by PCAA and FBR. In October 2018, SAI flight operations were completely suspended by the local regularity body PCAA and the airline declared a financial defaulter. Since November 2018, all SAI offices have closed.
Investor Rumor and LiquidationEdit
Shaheen reported an un-named investor from Saudi Arabia was to help the airline return to service from January 2019. However on 13 February 2019 it was announced that services would not resume and the airline will be liquidated due to the non-cooperation of CAA on the matter and complete negligence on behalf of the newly established Government of Pakistan.
Even after repeated protests by the 5,000 employees, who are still owed months of wages, to date no investigation into the matter has been initiated by any of the agencies including the Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority or the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Two Airbus A-320-200 remain in storage. The rest of the aircraft were leased and were returned to the lessors after the airline ceased operations. Pakistani law requires a passenger airline to have a minimum of three aircraft in its fleet, and Shaheen's fleet of two stored aircraft does not fulfil the mandatory requirement of the license to operate.
Accidents and incidentsEdit
- 22 April 2012 - the main landing gear of a Boeing 737-400 operating as Flight 122 from Islamabad to Karachi collapsed during its landing at Karachi. No injuries were reported among the 122 passengers and 6 crew on board.
- 24 September 2015 - a Boeing 737-400 registered AP-BJR and operating as Flight 791 took off from a taxiway instead of the runway while departing from Sharjah. The aircraft was undamaged in the incident.
- 23 November 2015 - the main landing gear of a Boeing 737-400 registration AP-BJO, operating as Flight 142, collapsed during landing. There were 112 passengers and 7 crew members on board; 10 passengers were injured.
- 26 January 2020 - a Boeing 737-200 registration AP-BIS, was destroyed by fire, the incident occurred at Karachi Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan.
- Tribune.com.pk (13 December 2013). "Take-off: Younger generation takes over Shaheen Air's command". The Express Tribune.
- Tahir, Zulqernain (7 December 2018). "Owners of Shaheen Air International flee abroad". DAWN.COM.
- Shaheen Air Cargo services accessed 2009-12-31
- "Shaheen Air flights for Riyadh - Anna Aero" Shaheen Air inaugurates operations in Riyadh with three routes from Pakistan
- Cheung, Tai Ming; Tai, Ming Cheung (1 September 2018). "China's Entrepreneurial Army". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- "Shaheen Air's operations have been stopped because it can't pay its debts - Samaa Digital". Samaa TV.
- Report, Monitoring (26 October 2018). "Shaheen Air aiming to restart operations by January: Report".
- Driessche, Maarten Van Den (13 February 2019). "Shaheen Air International officially announced its closure".
- Shaheen Air schedule
- Shaheen suspends Kuala Lumpur
- "Shaheen Air ends Manchester service in mid Feb 2017". Airlineroute. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- "Shaheen Air Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
- "Last plane of Shaheen Air International leaves Pakistan". Pakistan Aviation. 2018-10-07. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
- "Accident: Shaheen B734 at Karachi on Apr 22nd 2012, left main gear collapse on landing". avherald.com.
- "Report: Shaheen B734 at Sharjah on Sep 24th 2015, took off from taxiway". avherald.com.
- "Accident: Shaheen B734 at Lahore on Nov 3rd 2015, runway excursion, both main gear collapsed". avherald.com.
- "Accident: Shaheen Boeing 737-200 at Karachi on 26 Jan 2020, destroyed by fire".
Media related to Shaheen Air at Wikimedia Commons