Commenced operations 7 November 1993
6 March 2012 (Relaunch)
Ceased operations 2000 (Pre relaunch)
22 April 2012
Operating bases Jinnah International Airport
Fleet size 1
Company slogan For those who love to fly
Parent company Bhoja Group of Companies,
Headquarters Karachi, Pakistan
Key people M. Farouk Omar Bhoja (Chairman and CEO)
Air Cdre Javed ishaq DMD
Bhoja Air (Bhoja Airlines (Pvt) Ltd) (Urdu: بھوجا ائیر), was an airline based in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It operated a small domestic scheduled network before the airline ceased operations in 2000 due to financial difficulties, but after clearing its dues with the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan it was relaunched in 2011 and its inaugural flight was on 6 March 2012. After the 20 April 2012 accident, the Bhoja Air fleet size was reduced to one airplane. According to Pakistani law, any airline must have at least three planes in operation. Thus, on 29 May 2012, The Ministry of Defence of Pakistan has temporarily imposed a ban on the operations of Bhoja Airline in Pakistan Operations have ultimately been ceased after the Pakistani airline has sold its last serviceable aircraft in July 2012.
On 7 November 1993, Bhoja Air started operations on domestic routes between Karachi, Lahore and Quetta with a dry leased Boeing 737-200. It was registered in Pakistan making Bhoja the first private airline in the country to operate a Western manufactured aircraft. Bhoja Air is a privately owned airline of the Bhoja Group of Companies with its head office at Shahrah–e-Liaquat, Karachi and corporate offices at KDA Scheme No 1. In 1996, it signed a deal with the handling agent group OGDENS with complete ground handling equipment at Karachi, capable of handling Boeing 747s. In the same year another sister company, Pakistan Aviators and Aviation located at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore was purchased[by whom?], along with a hotel for passenger stop-overs.
On 24 January 1998 Bhoja Air commenced international flights from Karachi to Dubai. Later, Bhoja Air operated flights to the U.A.E from all major cities of Pakistan. However due to financial difficulties, Bhoja Air suspended its operations in 2000, although its airline licence issued by CAA – Pakistan remained valid and it maintained a fully functional headquarters office in Karachi and a flight ops and ramp office at Karachi Jinnah International.
Bhoja Air have indefinitely suspended operations since 29 May 2012 on orders by CAA for not meeting criteria of minimum three operational aircraft in their fleet, at the time Bhoja were only operating one Boeing 737-200 with a 737-400 stored at Karachi airport, this aircraft has since been controversially transferred to Shaheen Air and repainted in their livery.
Bhoja had plans to resume operation by mid August with the assistance of a foreign airline but are now said to have terminated all staff and crew till further notice.
Bhoja Air served the following destinations at May 2012, all operations are indefintely suspended:
- Islamabad - Benazir Bhutto International Airport
- Karachi - Jinnah International Airport Hub
- Lahore - Allama Iqbal International Airport
- Multan - Multan International Airport
Bhoja also planned on launching another domestic station Sukkur, however that did not materialise despite being listed in the airlines website booking menu.
Bhoja Air fleet consisted of the following aircraft before it sold its last remaining aircraft in July 2012:
Boeing 737-200 0 previously has 1 Boeing 737-200 Sold to Shaheen Air on 25 July 2012 after losing its operating license following the crash in April 2012
Two more leased 737-200 were never delivered due to suspension of operations, they had also a leased Boeing 737-400 which was taken over by Shaheen Air and is grounded due to controversial transfer of the aircraft wthout CAA clearance.
Bhoja Air previously operated the Yakovlev Yak-42.
Incidents and accidents
- On 20 April 2012, a Boeing 737-200, operating Flight 213 and carrying 127 people on a flight from Karachi to Islamabad crashed near Chaklala during approach, killing all people on board. Eye-witness reports say that the aircraft was already on fire on its landing approach before it crashed, perhaps due to a strike of lightning. Initial reports suggest that as the pilots of Flight 213 attempted to land amidst rain and strong winds, the aircraft might have flown into an unexpected wind shear. The aircraft was on dry-lease from South African airline Comair, and had been acquired and placed in service by Bhoja Air in February 2012. Minister for Interior A. Rehman Malik said on 22 April 2012 that Farouk Bhoja Chairman of the Airline, had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).
- "Contact Us." (Archive) Bhoja Air. Retrieved on 21 April 2012. "Bhoja Terrace Sharah-i-Liaqat, Karachi, Pakistan." - See map, Archive
- Bhoja Airline temporarily banned in Pakistan Geo News Pakistan, May 29, 2012
- Bhoja Air ch-aviation-ch
- CAA temporarily orders Bhoja operations suspension
- Bhoja destinations
- "All 127 on board Islamabad-bound plane perish". Dawn.Com. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "Bhoja Air plane crash kills 127 in Pakistan; black box found". Ndtv.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- Awami Admin. "Bhoja Aircraft Crashed near Koraal Chowk Rawalpindi". Awami Web. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- Wind shear may have caused the crash
- Name *. "AP-BKC Background | Planespotters". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "Bhoja Airlines owner put on ECL". Pakwatan.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21.