In this photograph, Jacqueline Kennedy, former first lady of the United States of America, hugs Captain M.M. Salehjee after she travelled in a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight to London in 1962. She was so impressed with the quality of cuisine, in-flight service and the professionalism of the crew that when asked how was her flight, she endorsed PIA’s slogan by simply replying, “Great people to fly with.” This slogan was given to PIA by Omar Kureishi.
The PIA owes much of its glory to Air Commodore Malik Nur Khan, who was the managing director from 1959 to 1965. His bold decisions made the PIA into the leading airline of Asia and one of the five best airlines in the world. He was supported by a team of aviation technocrats like Mr Enver Jamall, Mr Jimy Mirza, Mr Anwar Hussain, Mr Hurmet Beg, Mr M.M. Salim and cricket commentator Mr Omar Kureishi. Air Commodore Nur Khan is also credited for the construction of the Hotel Intercontinental chain in Pakistan, in collaboration with Pan American Airways. These five-star properties were built in Karachi, Dhaka, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
Air Marshal Asghar Khan replaced Malik Nur Khan as the president of Pakistan International Airlines, serving from 1965 to 1968. Air Marshal Asghar Khan assigned Omar Kureishi the task of having a new uniform design for the PIA air hostesses. Kureishi contacted French designer Pierre Cardin to design the uniform. Cardin came up with such a unique design that it revolutionised flight attendants’ uniforms around the globe.