British Airways resumes Pakistan flights from June 2
_A Monitor Report01 Jun, 2019 | 522 Views|-+
Harmondsworth : British Airways will recommence flights to Pakistan from June 2 a decade after it suspended operations following a major hotel bombing, becoming the first Western airline to resume flights to the South Asian country.
BA halted its services to Pakistan following the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital Islamabad that took place during a period of devastating militant violence in Pakistan.
Security has since improved reviving Pakistan as a destination for tourist and investors.
"The final touches are coming together for the airline's return ahead of the first flight on Sunday June 2," British Airways said in a statement. It will launch a three-per-week service to London Heathrow, the statement said.
Pakistani Civil Aviation is on board said spokeswoman Farah Hussain about the flights resumption.
BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, will begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service with the airline's newest long-haul aircraft-the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
At present, only loss-making national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies directly from Pakistan to Britain but its ageing fleet of planes is a frequent source of complaints by passengers.
Middle Eastern carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates have a strong presence in Pakistan and have been eating into PIA's dwindling market share. Turkish Airlines also lays on a regular service to Pakistan.
Islamabad has been running international advertising campaigns to rejuvenate its tourism sector, which was wiped out by Islamist violence that destabilised the country following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the US-led war in Afghanistan.
"We hope customers in both the UK and Pakistan will enjoy the classical British service we offer, with thoughtful bespoke touches," Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer, British Airways, said in a statement.