British Airways resumes flights in Pakistan after a decade-long Break
British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan from June 2019 after a period of 10 years, which it stopped following security fears after a blast outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad
British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan from June 2019 after a period of 10 years, the airline announced on Tuesday December 18.
"Direct flights from London Heathrow to Islamabad’s new airport to start in June," said British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in a video on Twitter.
"A further boost to links between the UK and Pakistan, especially on trade and investment."
At present, only costly national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies directly from Pakistan to Britain, but its aging fleet of planes is a frequent source of complaints by passengers for its lacklustre service and frequent flight delays and cancellation .
However, Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates have a substantial presence in Pakistan and have been slashing PIA's declining market share. Turkish Airlines also lays on a regular service to Pakistan
In September 2008, British Airways suspended all its flights to Pakistan because of security fears after a blast outside the Marriott Hotel that claimed more than 40 lives
Pakistani officials hailed British Airways's move, saying it will enhance the confidence and change the perception of other foreign investors and make the country less isolated.
"Once it gets around the world that British Airways has put its stamp of approval on Pakistan, it will put us one or two notches up as a country to do business with," said Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood.
The first flight will touch down in Islamabad, said a British Airways official at a press conference alongside the Pakistan Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari.
British Airways halted its operations to Pakistan 10 years ago, said Bukhari, terming the announcement "groundbreaking".
In September 2008, British Airways suspended all its flights to Pakistan because of security fears after a blast outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that claimed more than 40 lives. which took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence that swept the country.