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RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will vacate the old Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) after shifting its technical ground support (TGS) equipment to the new airport on Tuesday.

According to sources, in coordination with different departments PIA has made arrangements for removing its equipment and 10 vehicles along with office furniture still lying at the old airport since the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) was made operational in May this year.

The sources said heavy vehicles would start the shifting process at about 8am on Tuesday and complete it by evening.

PIA had started its international flights at BBIA in 1963 while VVIP and VIP lounges were constructed at the airport in 1972. The expansion and renovation of the airport was carried out in 2015.

Known as Chaklala Airbase since its establishment in 1930, the airport was named after PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto in 2008. After the IIA started operations, PAF authorities took control of the old airport. However, the old airport is still being used for VVIP and VIP flights.

Meanwhile, PIA has decided to introduce two boarding bridges for Boeing 777 — one for first class passengers and the other for economy class — at Islamabad and Karachi airports.

Previously, the airline had been using only one passengers’ bridge attached on the tail side of the plane from where both first and economy class passengers embarked and disembarked.

PIA’s Boeing 777 has capacity for 394 economy class passengers and 34 for first class passengers. Now the business class passengers will exit and enter the plane from the front bridge.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018

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