British Airways to resume Pakistan flights after a decade in next summer
British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan next year after a 10-year absence that followed a major hotel bombing, becoming the first Western airline to restart flights to the South Asian nation.
BA halted flights following one of the most high-profile attacks in Pakistan’s history, the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital, Islamabad, which took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence that swept the country.
But security has since improved, with militant attacks sharply down in the mainly Muslim country of 208 million people. In Islamabad, a web of road checkpoints dotted across the city for more than a decade has mostly been dismantled.
Robert Williams, BA head of sales for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, says it’s going to be “exciting to be flying between Islamabad and Heathrow” again.
Thomas Drew, Britain’s top diplomat in Pakistan, said the resumption of flights “will give a particular boost to our growing trade and investment links.”
BA said flights would resume on June 2, 2019, three times a week and that “tickets are on sale from today.”
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 Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood.