On this day 60 years ago, PIA pilots broke world record for fastest flight from London to Karachi in 6h43m55s on Boeing 720B Reg.
A Boeing 720-B of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) landed in Karachi on January 2, 1962, creating a new flying record between London and Karachi. The PIA plane flew non-stop. It was on a home delivery flight from the Boeing factory in Seattle to Karachi and it had already beaten the flying mark between Seattle and London. PIA Chief Pilot Captain Abdullah Baig, who was in command of the flight, was warmly welcomed when he stepped down the plane with PIA Managing Director Air Commodore Nur Khan.
Captain Baig told the media that the record was broken as a result of coordinated efforts of all members of the crew aboard the plane. It was “the finest team” ever flown by me on any route, he said. The $6 million turbofan jet aircraft broke the London-Karachi point-to-point official record by covering the distance in six hours 45 minutes and 33 seconds, at an average speed of 583.3 statute miles per hour.
Aboard the plane, among others, were Pakistani and foreign journalists. The Royal Aero Club observer aboard the plane described the fight as “jolly good business”. The plane clipped two hours, nine minutes off the 1953 recoded of eight hours, 52 minutes and 28.5 seconds set by a British Canberra bomber. The PIA plane started its journey from London after a holdup due to snow and bad weather of more than 36 hours. The take-off from London was smooth despite the bad condition of the runway.