Jinnah International Airport, Karachi: A Guide to the Aviation Hub 

Jinnah International Airport Image by A.Savin

Jinnah International Airport, situated in the bustling metropolis of Karachi, is a critical gateway connecting Pakistan to destinations worldwide. Boasting over 40 airlines and four terminals, including the prominent Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), it stands as the largest domestic and international airport in the country.

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In this extensive guide, Graana.com will delve into the rich history, layout, terminals, lounges, facilities, airline operations, and even the frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive understanding of this aviation hub.


History of Jinnah International Airport 

Kala Chapra Jinnah International Airport 1927


The roots of Jinnah International Airport trace back to 1924 when Karachi was designated as the principal airbase by the British. Functioning as a gateway to India, it played a crucial role in international flights outside Europe by 1925. Notably, in 1929, Karachi Airport became South Asia’s first commercial airport, marking a milestone in the region’s aviation history.  

Over the years, the airport underwent significant developments, including the construction of an airship mooring tower in 1927, known as Kala Chapra. The tower, 850 feet tall and 180 feet wide, facilitated the docking of the British R-101 Airship. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi Airport transformed into the country’s first international airport.  

The period from 1948 to 1954 saw the Terminal I building featured on Pakistan’s postal stamps and currency notes, symbolizing national pride. The airport continued to evolve, inaugurating a new jet runway in 1961 and completing the most expensive civil construction project in Pakistani history in 1992. 


Overview of Jinnah International Airport

The vast Jinnah International Airport complex spans 3,000 acres, with specific allocations for different functions. Out of this expanse, 1,327 acres are dedicated to various airport operations, while the terminals and the Jinnah Terminal Complex (JTC) cover 158 acres.

The JTC, housing two runways, is a crucial component of this sprawling complex. The airport is a major air transport facility in Pakistan along with Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.


Terminals at Karachi Airport 


Terminals at Jinnah International Airport


While Karachi Airport has four terminals, currently, only the Jinnah Terminal is operational. The Jinnah Terminal is a multi-functional space with two concourses: the Jinnah East Satellite Concourse for international departures and the Jinnah West Satellite Concourse for domestic departures. This arrangement streamlines the passenger flow, making arrivals accessible on the lower level and departures on the upper level. 


Lounges at Jinnah International Airport 

Jinnah International Airport in Karachi takes pride in offering a selection of lounges, each meticulously designed to elevate the comfort and convenience of passengers. Let’s explore the unique facilities of each lounge: 


Bank Alfalah Premier Lounge 

The Bank Alfalah Premier Lounge at Jinnah International Airport provides a haven for both international and domestic travelers. Equipped with Wi-Fi access, passengers can stay connected during their wait. Snack and food bars offer a variety of refreshments, complemented by a selection of magazines and newspapers for leisure reading.

With TVs for entertainment and internet terminals for convenient online activities, this lounge ensures a pleasant and relaxing environment. Notably, it is a nonsmoking establishment, prioritizing the comfort of all passengers. 


CIP Lounge 


CIP Lounge 


Operating 24/7, the CIP Lounge is dedicated to providing premium services for departing flights. Passengers can indulge in premium meals and snacks while staying connected through continuous Wi-Fi access. Flight monitors keep guests informed about their departing flights, and a range of amenities such as newspapers, magazines, TVs, internet terminals, printers, copiers, and telephones cater to both business and leisure needs. As a smoke-free space, the CIP Lounge ensures a comfortable environment for all guests. 


Marhaba Lounge 

The Marhaba Lounge, open 24 hours a day, primarily serves international departures. It stands out with first-class kiosks, Wi-Fi access, flight monitors, and a selection of reading materials. For entertainment, there are TVs, and a designated kid’s section caters to younger travelers.

Additionally, a designated smoking area offers exclusivity for those who smoke. The Marhaba Lounge goes beyond the conventional, providing a diverse range of amenities to suit various passenger preferences. 


PIA Business Plus Lounge 


PIA Business Plus Lounge 


Primarily serving departures, the PIA Business Plus Lounge offers a range of facilities to enhance the pre-flight experience. Wi-Fi connectivity ensures continuous internet access, and kiosks provide convenient services for passengers.

Newspapers and magazines offer reading materials, while TVs provide entertainment. Internet terminals further contribute to the overall convenience. Like its counterparts, the PIA Business Plus Lounge is a nonsmoking establishment, prioritizing the comfort of all its guests. 


Airport Codes 

For identification and operational purposes, Jinnah International Airport has been assigned specific codes by several organization including Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) designated the code KHI, while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provided the code OPKC. 


Airlines Operating from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi 


Airlines Operating from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi 

Jinnah International Airport in Karachi serves as a bustling hub for numerous airlines, facilitating both domestic and international travel. The airport’s strategic location and extensive facilities make it a preferred choice for a diverse array of carriers. The following table shows a list of airlines that operate to and from Jinnah International Airport; 


Airline Name Contact Number 
Serene Air 11 737 363 
Air Blue 111-247-258 
Emirates 021-345-71683 
Gulf Air 021-34592324 
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 111-786-786 
Qatar Airways 021-9907-1539 
Saudi Arabian Airlines 021-34680333 
Shaheen Air 021-111808080 
Etihad Airways 021-99071504 
Air Indus 021-99071365 
Air Arabia 021-111-272-242 
Air China 021-35364506 
Iran Air 021-3450682 
Oman Air 021- 35693977 
Turkish Airlines 021- 3459210 
Sri Lanka Airlines 021-4371271/1272 
Fly Dubai 021-45791638 

Facilities at Jinnah International Airport 


Facilities at Jinnah International Airport 


To ensure a seamless travel experience, Jinnah International Airport offers a comprehensive range of facilities: 

  • Baggage Trolleys: Conveniently available for passenger use. 
  • Banking Facilities, ATMs, and Currency Exchanges: Ensuring financial accessibility for travelers. 
  • Computers: Free computer access for passengers. 
  • Duty-Free Shops: A selection of retail outlets offering tax-free goods. 
  • Food, Drink, and Retail Concessions: Various options for dining and shopping. 
  • Hotels: Accommodations within or in close proximity to the airport. 
  • Luggage Storage and Lockers: Secure facilities for storing baggage. 
  • Medical Services: Providing healthcare support to passengers. 
  • Mobile Recharging Points: Convenient stations for recharging electronic devices. 
  • Mother Room: A dedicated space for mothers and infants. 
  • Muslim Prayer Rooms: Facilities for passengers to observe prayers. 
  • Restrooms: Clean and accessible restroom facilities. 
  • Showers: Offering travelers the option for refreshment. 
  • Special Care: Services for passengers with specific needs. 
  • Wi-Fi Service: Internet connectivity for passengers. 

Read More About Features and Facilities at Major Airports in Pakistan


Jinnah International Airport stands as a dynamic and crucial hub in Pakistan’s air travel network. From its historical significance to its modern facilities and extensive airline operations, the airport plays a pivotal role in connecting the country to global destinations. As technology advances and passenger needs evolve, Jinnah International Airport is poised for continued growth and relevance in the aviation landscape. 


FAQs about Jinnah International Airport 

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Jinnah International Airport: 


How many terminals does Jinnah International Airport have? 

Jinnah International Airport in Karachi has four terminals; however, currently, only the Jinnah Terminal is operational. This terminal is a multifunctional complex with two concourses, the Jinnah East Satellite Concourse for international departures and the Jinnah West Satellite Concourse for domestic departures. 


What are the major lounges at Jinnah International Airport? 

Jinnah Terminal hosts several lounges to enhance the passenger experience. Notable options include the Bank Alfalah Premier Lounge, offering Wi-Fi, snack and food bars, magazines, newspapers, TVs, and internet terminals. The CIP Lounge operates 24/7, providing premium meals, Wi-Fi, flight monitors, newspapers, magazines, TV, internet terminals, printers, copiers, and telephones.  

The Marhaba Lounge, open 24 hours for international departures, features first-class amenities, Wi-Fi, flight monitors, a kid’s section, and a designated smoking area. The PIA Business Plus Lounge, primarily for departures, offers Wi-Fi, kiosks, newspapers & magazines, TVs, and internet terminals. 


What is the IATA code for Jinnah International Airport? 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) code for Jinnah International Airport is KHI. This three-letter code is used for quick and standardized identification in the aviation industry. 


Which airlines operate from Jinnah International Airport? 

Jinnah International Airport serves as a hub for various airlines, connecting Karachi to global destinations. Some of the prominent airlines operating from the airport include Serene Air, Air Blue, Emirates, Gulf Air, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Shaheen Air, Etihad Airways, Air Indus, Air Arabia, Air China, Iran Air, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, Sri Lanka Airlines, and Fly Dubai, among others. 


What facilities are available at Jinnah International Airport? 

Jinnah International Airport offers a comprehensive range of facilities to cater to the diverse needs of passengers. These include baggage services, banking facilities, ATMs, and currency exchanges. The airport provides free computer access, duty-free shops, food, drink, and retail concessions.  

Facilities also include hotels within or close to the airport, luggage storage and lockers, medical services, mobile recharging points, mother rooms, Muslim prayer rooms, restrooms, showers, special care services, and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the airport. These amenities collectively ensure a comfortable and efficient travel experience for passengers.

 For more informative blogs, visit the Graana Blog.

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