Airblue Limited (styled as airblue) is a private airline with its head office on the 12th floor of the Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) Towers in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is Pakistan's second largest airline with over 20% share of the domestic market. Airblue operates scheduled flights operating 30 daily services linking four domestic destinations Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawarwith international services to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Istanbul and Manchester. Its main base is Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.
The airline was established in 2003 and started operations on 18 June 2004 with three leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft servingKarachi–Lahore and Karachi–Islamabad with three daily flights in each direction. The airline was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan.
During the first year the airline became very popular, which allowed the airline to compete directly with the flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines and the two other private carriers, flying more than 400,000 passengers in the first year with a load factor of over 90%. This allowed the airline to expand into more cities in Pakistan including Peshawar, Quetta and Nawabshah. On 14 August 2005 (Pakistan's 58th Independence Day) Airblue launched its first international flight from Karachi to Dubai. On June 4, 2007, Airblue launched its inaugural flight to Manchester, England using the Airbus A321.
Airblue changed its IATA code from ED to PA in June 2012, the new code previously belonged to the defunct carrier Pan American World Airways.
As of June 2012, Airblue has finalised an agreement to acquire one Airbus A320 and two leased Airbus A340-300s for current and new international routes. It is also looking at various types of turboprop aircraft for new domestic routes. If finalised, Airblue would be looking to acquire four turboprops. The A320 would provide further flexibility in the schedule...