In an interview with international media, Air Marshal Ahmer Shahzad has stated that the PAC has considered making commercial aircraft with a 10 to 30 seat capacity.“As economic activity picks up with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, we require fast and efficient air transportation to fulfill domestic requirements. We’re also eyeing international requirements in the Middle East and Central Asia,” Shahzad said.
The Air Marshall is currently in the UAE to attend the Dubai Airshow 2017, where Pakistan has put up a pavilion displaying the country’s advanced equipment and planes such as the Super Mushkaka and JF-17 Thunder. The Pakistan Air Force is participating in the daily airshow with the latter.
Shahzad commented that work on producing commercial aircraft will begin soon. Responding to a query on competition in the commercial aircraft market, he said: “We’ve produced the Super Mushshak and it’s being sold successfully despite competition. If we make it [commercial aircraft] cost-effective, with sustained logistics and maintenance, it is going to be attractive to international customers.”
The new aircraft are to be produced at the PAC headquarters in Kamra and will accompany PAC’s resumption of development in the field of unmanned vehicles. Air Marshal Shahzad added that the PAC is looking towards markets in the Middle East and Far East for it’s current aircraft .
“There are a number of potential buyers for Super Mushshak, which is used for training purposes too. We are fulfilling the requirements of the Pakistan Air Force and are capable of manufacturing aircraft for exports too. Right now, our annual production for JF-17 is 20 aircraft .” PAC has already signed aircraft export orders with Turkey, Qatar, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.
The story is originally published in Khaleej Times.