By Muhammad Luqman
The United Kingdom’s national carrier, British Airways, has announced to restart flight operations in Pakistan after a decade, according to an announcement by the British High Commission in Islamabad.
British Airways flight operations were suspended in 2008 following a terrorist attack on the Marriot hotel in the capital Islamabad, the British high commission representatives announced that ” flight operations are set to resume from June 2019.”
Addressing a news conference, the officials of the British High Commission termed the restoration of peace in Pakistan as a ‘good omen.’
Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said British Airways’ return was “a reflection of the great improvements” in security (of Pakistan).
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 Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates have been able in having a strong presence in Pakistan. Turkish Airlines and South East Asian airliner Malindo have regular service to Pakistan. Lately, the national airliner, PIA has decided to re-launch its flights to Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Robert Williams, Head of Sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East for British Airways, said that the carrier believes the route “will be particularly popular with the British Pakistani community who want to visit, or be visited by, their relatives”.
“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.”
DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghaffoor also took to Twitter to laud the security forces for the restoration of peace and stability in the country and thanking British Airways to reviving its flight operations in Pakistan.