Change Your Altitude

Want a nonstop from JFK to Europe on the cheap? Fly Pakistan Airlines!


For those of you looking for a cheap way to get to Germany direct from New York and are willing to sacrifice some frequent flier miles, here’s a flight for you.

We’ve all been there.That college backpacking trip – that last minute flight you NEED to get on – or that other trip that you really shouldn’t go on but just do it anyway.There are times when we simply look for a way to get from point A to point B on the cheap.

Well, it seems as though a new option has emerged.

It looks like Pakistan Airlines (PIA) is about to launch (a very odd) route from their home base in Islamabad to New York via Leipzig in Germany. The airline has also been given ‘5th freedom’ rights on the route which means they can sell tickets for people who just want to fly between Leipzig and New York. The main reason they need the stopover rather than operating direct flights from Pakistan is that no airline is allowed by the FAA to operate direct flights into the US due to security concerns there.

So that forces PIA to make the stop – and will now offer flights on the cheap due to it.

And since they are not a major player on the trans-Atlantic market and are not exactly a ‘premium airline’ tickets will go for much less than your standard options on Lufthansa, Delta, United or American. In fact past experience with their dalliances on their Chicago to Barcelona, New York to Manchester, Boston to Stockholm and Washington to Rome routes makes us think that Business Class fares on this route will be roughly equivalent to Economy fares on other carriers.

Better yet, the airline will be operating their new Airbus A330 fleet on the route which features their ‘Pakistan Premier’ product – which while their product might be below par and wildly inconsistent, at the very least you’ll get a fully flat bed with a HD screen and personal entertainment on your sojourn to Europe.


Cabin crew will also receive special uniforms and training to operate these ‘Premier’ routes (Islamabad to London will be another route getting the product) and service will be enhanced compared to normal PIA routes. And While PIA might be a ‘dry’ airline (as in no alcohol onboard) which might be a deterrent for some, their catering is supposedly excellent and offer a buffet style service in Business Class of some exemplary South Asian and Pakistani specialties which is always a plus.


So what’s the verdict then? Schedules are yet to be released for this new unique route, but will you be sampling some spicy Briyani on a flatbed across the Atlantic any time soon?



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