ATP Repost: PIA Ad Re Deux

Posted on August 29, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

The 1960s PIA advertisement that had been featured as the ATP Picture of the Day on 12 June, 2006 is one of the most visited blogpost to date.

We had featured a second PIA Ad from that era on June 24, 2006, which is also interesting but got considerably less attention.

Today, as I prepare to catch my PIA flight to Pakistan (this evening) I thought I might repost it. As we have commented on various occasions, the edge has come off PIA. Sometimes one wonders if the wings will too. I hope they won’t; at least not today!

The crew I will encounter tonight will be wearing a different set of uniforms, but the PIA crew uniform from the 1960s has an interesting pedigree to it. That celebrated uniform is featured in this PIA ad.

According to PIA literature:

In 1966, Pierre Cardin, the renowned French fashion designer, came up with the legendary fawn and moss green summer and winter uniform edged with turquoise. The uniform consisted of a short, easy fitting “A” line tunic, slim-line trousers and imaginatively moulded dupatta that not only covered heads but also turned heads. The uniform became an instant hit, the slim-line trousers immediately were dubbed as ‘PIA Pajamas’. Fashion-conscious young ladies, all across Pakistan, copied Cardin’s design eagerly. This popular uniform design was used by the airline from 1966 to 1975.

Anyhow, combined with the other one, or alone, what–if anything–does this ad say about how Pakistan saw itself; then and now?

23 responses to “ATP Repost: PIA Ad Re Deux”

  1. basit says:

    PIA seems to be making some efforts these days to recapture some of that past glory.

  2. Israr says:

    I think that sends the vibes of a nation looking at a bright future , what we have seen after that is a nation looking at gloom, There has been a change in my personal outlook, it has varied from that of optimistic to gloomy to now optimistic again. I find myself gloomy reading today that the SHC had to order a raid commisioner to ” Bazyab ” people from a police station, but optimistic that Supreme court finally has gotten some people out of the clutches of ” agencies”. I think we should celebrate the fact that even in such Lawless circumstances in Pakistan , the court now is doing the right thing. Lets celebrate them as heroes as we need to brighten the horizon, happy flying

  3. Eidee Man says:

    I just returned from PIA’s soon-to-go-out-of-service flight from Karachi to Chicago. The highlight of my experience was having a full 2 liter bottle of 7-up spilled on me….my shirt, pants, etc, etc were SOAKING WET.

    Anyway, I lived to fly another day on PIA…it’s a decent airline :).

    Also about this comment:

    “Some of my friends complain that in PIA, they dont serve alcohol. Is it true?

    In order to be business friendly they should serve alocohol. This is biggest reason why muslims are lagging behind hindus in hospitality industry( like restuarents) in USA.”

    Actually, I’d rather they did not. How far should a country go to make itself more appealing to foreign tourists? From this comment, it seems like the colonized mindset is still raging strong. If PIA brushed itself up and got its act together with reservations issues, prices, service, and punctuality, it will be much better airline….it doesn’t have to start with alcohol….also, I know plenty of non-Muslims who drink and I don’t think anyone of them uses alcohol as a criterion for picking a flight….that being said, it may be your criteria. Sad.

  4. JayJay says:

    I think there are not many commercial airlines, other than our PIA, which are run by a country’s Defence Ministry. But then I will struggle to name anything of ‘value’ in Pakistan where the professional ‘competence’ of an organization of Defence Ministry has not left its grubby marks. Sell it, even if we have to pay from our own pockets to do it. It will be one off payment, not the annual

  5. JayJay says:

    Let us get rid of this white elephant. (Actually it should have been done 15 years back) There is no hope that it can be salvaged from the mess it is engulfed in. A privatized PIA will be an incentive for authorities to genuinely open up our skies to competition and lure investment in aviation. Funds allocated to operate this airline (notorious for having one of the worst plane-to-staff ratio) and the financial guarantees lavished to obtain loans for it can be better spent on financing the development of aviation infrastructure in the country. It is not wise to throw good money after bad money year after year.

    As if removing alcohol from menu was not sufficient; people have witnessed male crew congregating at the rear of the cabin to pray in the middle of the flight. I would rather crew serve than pray while on duty. No wonder the beginning of the relentless decline of PIA coincides with the discovery of Islam in Pakistan under pious rule of Mard-e-Momin.

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