British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan after a decade; carrier pulled out after 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing

Islamabad: British Airways said on Tuesday that it will resume flights to Pakistan from June, a decade after suspending operations due to security fears. "All of us at British Airways could not be more pleased to be coming back to Pakistan and we very much look forward to June next year, when our first flight will touch down at your spectacular new airport," the British carrier's head of sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Robert Williams, said at a press conference here.

 British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan after a decade; carrier pulled out after 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing

File image of a British Airways flight. CNN-News18

The British airline had suspended its flights to Pakistan in September 2008 after the deadly bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, which killed more than 50 people and triggered a major drawdown by embassies and international organisations over safety concerns. "We only fly somewhere when we know it's safe to do so," Williams said. Separately, British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in a video posted on Twitter said that the direct flight will start between London and Islamabad.

"Direct flights from Heathrow to Islamabad's new airport to start in June…A further boost to links between the UK and Pakistan, especially on trade and investment," he said. A statement issued by the airline said that initially three-per-week service will be launched, operated on a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with return fares starting from 499 pounds. Prime Minister's special assistant Zulfi Bukhari and Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, and Industries, Abdul Razzak Dawood, were also present during the press conference.

"British Airways coming back after a decade shows you where we were and how far we've come," Bukhari said, adding that it was big achievement of his government. The announcement to resume flights will boost effort of Prime Minister Imran Khan to bring in more investments as it showed the confidence of international community.

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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2018 22:42:57 IST