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Pakistani pilot who founded Emirates dies after protracted illness

RAWALPINDI — Captain Fazle Ghani, the lead founder pilot of UAE’s Emirates airline who was delegated by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to set it up, has passed away after a protracted illness.

PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arshad Malik announced in a tweet on Saturday: “Pride of Pakistan Aviation Captain Fazle Ghani passed away after prolonged illness.”

Malik said that Captain Ghani had turned down a citizenship offer from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and preferred returning to PIA.

Captain Ghani was present when Emirates A380 flight EK-2524 landed at Islamabad International Airport for a one-off journey in 2018, marking the first time ever that a double-decker aircraft landed in Pakistan.

Among the special guests on the occasion were two Pakistani members of Emirates’ first ever team, Captain Ghani, the airline’s first chief pilot and team lead for inaugural operations, and Captain Ejazul Haq, one of the pilots who operated the first ever Emirates flight from Dubai to Karachi 33 years ago.

Expressing deep sorrow over the demise of Captain Ghani, Malik said he was a very famous captain of PIA who was first commissioned in 1987 to oversee flight operations for Emirates.

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