British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan after 10 years

ISLAMABAD: Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce briefing the media personnel.

ISLAMABAD: British Airways (BA) announced to resume flight operations to Pakistan after 10 years.

“It’s exciting to be flying between Islamabad and Heathrow from next year, which we believe will be particularly popular with British Pakistanis who want to visit, or be visited by, their relatives,” Williams said.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy British High Commissioner to Pakistan Richard Crowder acknowledged Pakistan Army and the nation’s sacrifice in the war against terrorism.

Britain is home to more than a million residents of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora community in Europe.

The announcement was made by BA’s Head of Asia Pacific and Middle East Sales Robert Williams in a joint press conference with Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood.

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Dawood, on the occasion, said that the government will provide a better transport system from Rawalpindi to the airport, adding that he has informed about the inadequate resources to the premier. 

“On the route, customers will enjoy the very best in flying. Not only is it being operated by our newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but it will also be landing in the new airport in Islamabad, which opened earlier this year.”

BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, is due to begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service on June 15, with three weekly flights by the airline’s newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“We want maximum British investment to Pakistan,” said Dawood.

British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew said BA’s return was a “reflection of the great improvements” in security.

“The links between Britain and Pakistan are already extraordinary – from culture and cricket to people, politics and education,” Drew added in a statement. “I see this launch as a vote of confidence in the future of those links.”

The announcement came after Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to revitalise Pakistan’s struggling tourism industry in an effort to bring in much-needed revenue to its fragile economy.

‘Dividends of struggle are on way’

Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor called the resumption of BA flights “the dividends of decades-long struggle of Pakistani nation and its security forces for the restoration of peace and stability.”

“Thanks to British Airways for reviving its flight operations in Pakistan,” the DG ISPR tweeted.