|Multan International Airport
مُلتان بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ
|Owner||Government of Pakistan|
|Operator||Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||400 ft / 122 m|
|Website||Multan International Airport|
Multan International Airport (Urdu: مُلتان بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ) (IATA: MUX, ICAO: OPMT) is situated 4 km west of the city Multan in Punjab, Pakistan. It was originally built to cater mainly to the population of Multan, however as the airport gained much popularity traffic from surrounding areas which included Shujabad, Vehari, Lodhran, Khanewal, Shorkot, Muzaffargarh, Kot Adu, Layyah, Rajanpur, Burewala, Chichawatni and Sahiwal.
Multan International Airport traces its origins to the British Empire, when the Royal Air Force used the open space to fly in and out of the region during 1919. The area was used for aircraft that were able to land on gravel and grass surfaces. In 1934, Imperial Airways started to use the airfield for civil aircraft flights since Multan was considered a strategic position in the Punjab province of India. It was not until 1938 that Imperial Airways started to operate regular flights out of Multan. The flight would originate in Lahore, then fly into Multan, where it would continue its journey to Jacobabad and then Karachi.
Following the independence of Pakistan from the British, Pak Air, a new airline to the dominion, started operations from Multan Airport. Multan Flying Club was also set up at the Airport within the same year. It was not until the birth of the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines in 1957, that PIA started operations from Airport using Douglas DC-3 aircraft. In 1963, due to growth of the number of flights and larger aircraft requirements, the runway, taxi-ways and aprons where carpeted using bitumen. A new control tower was constructed to meet the technological changes at that time. In 1971, as PIA had acquired Boeing aircraft, the runway was extended to 9000' by 100' to handle heavier aircraft and more passengers. The Airport terminal building was extended in 1977 which also saw the airport handle Boeing 720 aircraft. In 1980–88, the airport runway was strengthened and re-carpeted for the arrival of the Airbus A300. It was not until 1999, that PIA and private airline Aero Asia that gave airport an international status. Flights began to the Middle East such as Dubai and Kuwait.
As the demand for air travel began to surge, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority decided to upgrade the facilities for the airport in 2005. Initially the runway was upgraded to handle Boeing 747 operations at a cost of Rs 720m and was completed within the same year. On 15 December 2006, Shaheen Air started four weekly flights from Karachi to Multan. The airport also reported an operating profit of Rs 1bn within that year.
It was in December 2007, that Director General CAA, Farooq Rehmatullah held a press conference that the terminal building would be expanded as well as airside facilities at a cost of Rs4.5bn. It was in April 2009 that the work started with the runway, taxi ways and apron so the airport could handle large aircraft. The ground breaking ceremony was held by the then PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. Pakistan-based Engineering Consultants International Limited (ECIL) was awarded the contract to extend the runway and terminal building.
In January 2010, the Pakistan CAA decided that a brand new terminal with four jet bridges would be constructed instead of expanding the current terminal. In June 2010, PM Yousuf Raza Gilani carried out the ground breaking ceremony for the terminal building and inaugurated the first PIA Being 747 Hajj flight on the 28th October 2010.
During 2011, PIA introduced weekly flights for Jeddah and Medina. Flydubai announced thrice a week flights between Multan and Dubai with Boeing 737-800 from 14 March 2013 and became first foreign airline to operate from the airport post independence. Shaheen Air International restarted its daily operation from Karachi with Boeing 737 in February 2012 and Bhoja Air launched two weekly flights from Karachi with Boeing 737-200 in March 2012. Air Indus announced daily service for Multan – Karachi from 20 August 2013. Shaheen Air International started twice-a-week flight service for Multan – Dubai sector from 31 March 2013. Shaheen Air International announced two weekly flights between Multan and Medina from 1 June 2013. Pakistan International Airlines started two weekly direct flights for Jeddah & Medina from January 2014. Pakistan International Airlines announced weekly service for Multan – Sharjah sector from 30 March 2014. Shaheen Air International announced twice a week service for Jeddah - Multan sector from December-2014.
In March 2015, new terminal of Multan International Airport was formally inaugurated by PM Nawaz Sharif with former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani as well as several high-ranking officials. All operations have now shifted from the old terminal to the new one with flights increasing with more destinations and routes being opened up for the city of Multan. Keeping the international standards in view, a new air traffic control tower is constructed as well which is equipped with modern gadgets and navigation systems. A cargo complex of international standard has also been established with a capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes per year to host international cargo flights from Multan which will boost exports of fruits particularly mangoes and vegetables. There are plans that this would further increase to 30,00 metric tonnes every year.
After the transfer of all operations to new terminal, Airblue announced to start twice a week flight service for Islamabad from 3 April-2015. Airblue also announced to start twice a week service for Jeddah from 4 April-2015 & twice a week service for Sharjah from 10 April-2015. Qatar Airways announced to start 3 times a week service by A320 with 2 class seating for Doha - Multan sector from 1 August-2015 to get the facility for connections to USA & Europe. Air Arabia announced 4 weekly flights for Sharjah - Multan sector from 1 May-2015. Flydubai announced to increase its 3 times weekly service to daily flights for Multan from 26 May-2015 as they got a good load for the sector. Air Arabia also got a successful response so they announced to increase its service to daily flights for Multan from 31 May-2015. Emirates announced to start 4 times a week flight operation by Boeing 777-300 with 2 class seating to provide service for Dubai - Multan sector from 1 August-2015 which will facilitate the travelers to get connections for MENA Region, Far East, USA & Europe, this service will also provide the international cargo facility as every flight can carry up to 23 tonnes of cargo. Flydubai announced to increase its frequency to 9 flights a week from 10 July-2015, 2 additional flights will provide the service on Wednesdays & Fridays to facilitate the travelers to/from Multan. After getting a successful business on Jeddah & Sharjah routes Airblue announced to start twice a week flight service for Medina as well from 18 August-2015.
Multan International Airport is fitted with all the essentials for domestic and international flights with the inauguration of the new terminal. The information below is correct as of July 2015.
|Air Arabia||Sharjah |
|Airblue||Islamabad, Jeddah, Medina, Sharjah|
|Pakistan International Airlines||Dubai-International, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Jeddah, Karachi, Lahore, Medina, Quetta|
|Qatar Airways||Doha |
|Shaheen Air||Dubai-International, Jeddah, Karachi, Medina|
Multan International Airport is situated in the well populated area of cantonment and it is easily accessible through Airport Road by using Qasim Road from any part of the city. There is a drop off lane at the front of the terminal as well as a wide car parking area which can accommodate more than 400 vehicles.
Metro Radio Cab Services provides service directly from the airport and their counter is situated at the landside of the terminal to book the cab.
Private Rent A Car facility is also available at the airport.
There are also a number of traditional rickshaws available at the airport parking area & entrance which are quite popular to travel short distance within the city.
Multan Cantonment railway station is the nearest railway station only less than 3 Km away from the airport to get the railway connections for the other parts of country.
The following table provides details of the major traffic flows out of Multan in terms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements, cargo as well as mail. The results were collected by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan:
|Year||Aircraft movements (Commercial)||Passengers (Intl. & Domestic)||Cargo handled (M. Tons)||Mail handled (M. Tons)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Multan International Airport.|