1979 PIA "New York 16 h 30" WTC Twin Towers plane crashing press ad

I don't really know what to say about this PIA press ad from a bygone era... Except, remember when you could do bold graphic image solutions in advertising without offending anyone? Yeah, neither can I. Here's a dramatic black and white press ad for PIA - Pakistani Airlines - advertising that they fly to New York.

Honestly, why hasn't this been all over the web a million times already? Oh, it has, and I missed it? Sorry. Still worth a second look. Ktxbye.

...Is that French? Wow, this just gets weirder doesn't it?

PIA Airlines

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tod.brody's picture

I don't remember seeing this back in '79, or regurgitated on the web since 9.11. It certainly would not have enticed me to fly PIA. Back in '79 I was a devotee of Pan Am. Now that was service!

Dabitch's picture

Amen. I have my carefully nicked pan am cutlery and pan am bags still. You know, when they took the sign off the Pan Am building in New York I had a roof party to toast it goodbye. ;) I was very brand loyal to them.
I was crafty enough to change my tickets from Pan AM to Delta just a day or two before their bankruptcy was announced too - remember all those stranded people trying to get on other flights? That was a mess, all over the news showing huge lines of people trying to get their tickets changed to other flights, too late.

tod.brody's picture

Somehow, I'm not surprised that you had that crafty forethought. :-) Pan Am was the best. Their coast to coast and TransAtlantic service was unparalleled. When they went out, I had almost achieved the miles I needed for a 30 day round the world pass. I think that was one of the best frequent flyer awards ever. 30 Days unlimited anywhere Pan Am flew. If only...

Andreas-Udd's picture

Is this real? Spooky. When and where did this ad run?

Dabitch's picture

The full newspaper scan says 19th of March 1979 and that the newspaper was Le Point.

Andreas-Udd's picture

Thanks, now I know that thing is real. Nobody would photoshop an entire newspaper like that.

aiiobo's picture

From Playboy 1976 via.

andromeda's picture


bella's picture

It's a stunning ad for any era. In the late seventies and early eighties New York was best symbolized with the modern twin towers, which is why the towers were targeted in the first place. 

Io sono un clown e faccio collezione di attimi - H.Böll

buddieboy's picture

hi ive often associated the mundan and idle comunications in life to equal profetic events "
seeing the 79 add reminds me of theUnion Carbide" add i seen in Fortune
magazine from the sixtys It was basically the scene of the Bo pal Desastor tragedy that would occure in 1984 the one where
millions of people were poisened in thar sleep .
Im talking about a sixtys ad showing a merial(litho) of people who"
for all the world look terrified who appear to be fleaing the
city of Bo-pal Indiia and the union carbide plant in the background lureing above the fleaing bopal peasant citizens
it might have been the 1962 fortune or the 64 i had several
years and i no longer have them so somebody here try to
establish which year', i thought that this is relevant to this storys plot

Dabitch's picture

Kinda wish I had a bunch of old fortune magazines now just to see what buddieboy is on about.

tod.brody's picture

Here's the old Union Carbide ad from '62, showing the Bhopal plant, but I don't see any fleeing peasants foretelling the disaster.


Dabitch's picture

Still, what an image. The hand of God is pouring chemicals over some Ox-plowing farmer! Not exactly comforting. ;)

Benihahna's picture

The PIA ad is fantastic. When was the last time you saw a newspaper ad with such dramatic imagery? I see rubbish most days.

tod.brody's picture

It is incredibly dramatic even in the pre 9.11 world, but also probably ill conceived even in that era.

Dabitch's picture

Yeah, they had enough disaster movies in the seventies to know that some people might think "hey, isn't that flying awfully low and really close to..."
It's funny, whenever I see airline ads (and there was quite a few in the nineties) where you follow the shadow of a plane passing the quaint villages and fields and whatnot I just know an entire generation of war-kids are instinctively ducking. How the hell they convince the client that the image of an airplane shadow darkening the sky above children running in a field as not menacing is beyond me.

buddieboy's picture

i think thar were 2 union carbide adds im thinking... that this... is sister add to another scene" 1 with the exacte distilery plant in background it may just be somewhat more suspicious... if my
memory serves me ,and... thank you - tod.brody' !

tod.brody's picture

If only we could return to the days of good old wholesome (read Oedipal) airline ads.


Wendall's picture

I've seen that PIA ad before, & seem to remember some people saying it was part of a secret 9/11 conspiracy....of course, a flight ad from the late seventies is obviously part of a diaster that takes place 22 years later...

adlib's picture

I love that everything is a conspiracy these days.

Allan1's picture

"These days"??? - It's been like this since JFK's assassination (1963). Of course, there have been other times when real conspiracies were actually quite active, to say nothing of those conspiracies that are fantasies.

"Remember, no matter where you go... There you are." (Buckaroo Banzai).
"Hey, barkeep, 2 Rock Over Hip-Hops and 1 Bach Over Vivaldi with ice."

Robbotman's picture

This PIA ad is fantastic. So graphic. So real.. uhm.