Pakistan International Airlines (Urdu: پاکستان انٹرنیشنل ایئر لائنز; generally known as PIA; or Pakistan International), is the national flag carrier and a state-owned enterprise of the Government of Pakistan. Once regarded as Asia's best airline it is headquartered at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi  and operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27 countries across Asia, Europe and North America. Its main bases are at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
The airline's secondary bases include Peshawar, Faisalabad, Quetta, Sialkot and Multan, from which it connects the metropolitan cities with the main bases, the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East. It is primarily owned by the Government of Pakistan and is regulated by the Ministry of Defence as an autonomous body. It employed 18,043 people as of May 2008
Incidents and accidents
Since it began services, seven Pakistan International Airlines flights have crashed. PIA has a record of 5.00 fatalities per million flights.
- On 20 January 1978, a PIA plane (while at Karachi) carrying 22 passengers was hijacked by a gunman and asked to be flown to India. The then chairman of PIA, Air Marshal (Retd) Nur Khan boarded the plane to negotiate with the hijacker. He was hit by a bullet while trying to disarm the hijacker but still managed to overpower him.
- PIA Flight 688 was a Fokker F27 was scheduled to operate from Multan to Lahore and then to Islamabad. At 12:05pm on 10 July 2006, it crashed into a field after bursting into flames a few minutes after takeoff from Multan International Airport. All 41 passengers and four crew members on board were killed.
- On 24 May 2013 Pakistan International Airlines flight PK709 en route from Lahore to Manchester was forced to make an emergency landing at London-Stansted because of an attempted hijack being carried out by two passengers on board the flight. The flight was only mintues away from landing in Manchester when the pilots reported that attempts had been made to enter the flight deck and threats had been made towards the cabin crew by two men on board the flight. The flight was then escorted to London Stansted by the RAF where Police and emergency vehicles were waiting to greet the flight. Both passengers were arrested by the Police and the flight was grounded in London for several hours while all the passengers were interviewed and forensic police officers could inspect the aircraft. All passengers on board the Boeing 777-300ER were safe and unharmed.