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Japanese airline looking to start Islamabad-Bangkok-Tokyo route

Japanese airline looking to start Islamabad-Bangkok-Tokyo route

The Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan, Kuninori Matsuda, said that a Japanese airline wants to start flights for an Islamabad-Bangkok-Tokyo route.

In a meeting with the Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in Islamabad on Thursday, the Japanese Ambassador said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has 2 weekly flights on the route of Islamabad-Beijing-Tokyo, reported Dispatch News Desk (DND).

The ambassador said that Japan wants to invest in the textile and vehicle industries in Pakistan, adding that his country is also interested in Pakistani skilled manpower in the fields of industry, construction, agriculture, fishing, food and beverages, and the aviation industry.

The Federal Minister for Aviation said that Pakistan and Japan want to have a mutual cooperation in the field of aviation.

The Minister thanked the Ambassador for enhancing the Fifth Freedom Rights quota in March 2019 from 1,300 passengers to 4,000 passengers per month and from 40 tons of cargo to 100 tons of cargo per month.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan asked for the enhancement of Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights capacity between Beijing and Tokyo from 4,000 monthly passengers to 5,000 monthly passengers and cargo capacity between Beijing and Tokyo from 100 tons per month to 200 tons per month for the designated airlines of Pakistan.

The Air Services Agreement (ASA) between Pakistan and Japan was initialed on October 17, 1961 and signed on July 12, 1962. The ASA stipulates single airline designation with PIA being the designated airline of Pakistan and JAL (Japan Airlines) being the designated carrier of Japan.

The existing bilateral arrangements as envisages in the agreed minutes of September 25, 1987 include for Pakistan 2 capacity units (B-767) via Beijing and 3 capacity units via Southern routes, and for  a Japanese airline 5 capacity units.

The Minister also thanked the Ambassador for Japan’s help through the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) in areas of Airport Security Force (ASF) and Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). The equipment that has been provided by JICA in phase 1 through the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) include an X-ray machine, auto clear, vehicle scanner, and cargo scanner. In phase 2, JICA will provide equipment to CAA including a hold baggage explosive and liquid explosive detection system and a baggage handling system. The Federal Minister recommended that ASF staff be provided institutional-based technical training for the JICA equipment.

The Aviation Minister also asked the Japanese Ambassador to reduce the time span between the planning stage for and execution of an equipment provision by the JICA.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan also thanked the Ambassador for sponsoring PMD projects. He said that the Specialized Medium Range Forecast Centre (SMRFC) was constructed in Islamabad through Japanese aid at a cost of Rs 2.5 billion. Japan also helped in the installation of Weather Surveillance Radar at Karachi, Multan, Lahore, and Sukkar.