World’s Worst Airline Plans to Fly Non-stop to the U.S.

Pakistan International Airlines, the worst airline in the world, stopped flying to the US in October 2017 after 55 years of service.

Their flight used to operate Lahore, Pakistan – Manchester, UK – New York JFK. They weren’t allowed to fly non-stop to the U.S. for security reasons. Everyone would get re-screened in the UK. The US government wasn’t comfortable with a plane load of passengers getting screened in Pakistan and flying to the States.

The carrier also flew to Chicago at various points in time, via Birmingham, Manchester, and even Barcelona, and also to Houston.

Boeing 777 on Approach to New York JFK in 2014, Copyright zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

PIA is a perennial money-loser, and generally offers a poor product. The security stop enroute to the US meant that their flight was no faster than traveling on Emirates or Saudia.

Now the airline has announced its intention to return to the U.S. — fittingly on Twitter — and this time offering a true non-stop.

The US Counsel General in Karachi assures PIA that they’ll receive assistance towards this goal,

The PIA chief said the security situation in Pakistan had improved tremendously and relevant aviation and security agencies of Canada and European countries had shown their confidence over the recent developments. He informed the US envoy of getting certification and approvals from the IATA Operational Safety Audit and other agencies.

Ms Wagner assured the PIA of help by contacting relevant US departments in resolving its issues including having a direct access to US mainland. “We are optimistic that relations between both the countries will grow,” she said, adding: “The USA is very keen to improve and strengthen ties between both countries especially the business and trade relations.”

The airline is best known for sacrificing a goat for safety and flying with more passengers than seats (and making customers stand for 1700 miles).

Here’s a sample of an actual PIA flight.

Pakistan agreed to privatize PIA as a condition of receiving an IMF bailout. However the plan led to employee protests which turned violent in clashes with police involving rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas.

The airline’s privatization plan is off the table, and plans to continue as a state-subsidized entity. I full expect that Delta, United, and American will launch a broad campaign against PIA’s proposed US flying because they believe subsidies do not belong anywhere near the US commercial aviation business.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @gary – your sarcastic comment about the US3 isn’t appreciated. And it must be sarcasm since I doubt any of the US3 would really care about PIA flying here for competitive reasons.

    Your blog is better than this post…

  2. lol robert, get your thumb out of your a** — I thought the US3 comment was totally apt. also, his blog, his rules — I don’t see your blog?

  3. @Robert. On this one, Gary is spot on. The US3 are lying hypocrites and only like subsidies when they are the recipients.

  4. Are they really going to run that route with 2-3-2 recliner chairs for business class? On a 15+ hour flight?

  5. Posts like this designed to inflame public emotions and invite hateful comments is part of the reason why the New Zealand shooting happened. Shame on you

  6. OK the goat sacrifice is not just a PIA thing — Nepal Airlines also did it when their 757 was acting up.

  7. I would totally fly PIA for the inaugural flight if they would sacrifice a goat. Way better than a water cannon salute.

  8. your bias towards PIA looks pure stupidity now… i am not sure if you have even flown with them…
    get some life and stop this idiotic posts

  9. Gary, you need to fly more if you think this is the worst airline. Lucky has flown dozens of worst airlines and he actually never came close to saying PIA was even bottom 10! You lose credibility each time you call PIA the worst.

  10. You’re full of bias when you spit your opinion based on sarcasm but not facts. I have flown PIA multiple times from USA and found its service not any worse than any other airline operating in the same sector.. I think you should be reminded of US government bailouts for American Airlines.

  11. Gary can you share the data of Word airlines on the basis of which you call PIA worlds worst airline.

  12. PIA is a skytrax 3 star and Non of the US3, 4 or any are a 4 star or 5.! Lets talk home before talking of others. I and my family have had worse flights on American Airlines.

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