Photo used for illustrative purposes.
After long gap of eleven years, the British Airways (BA) resumed its flights for Pakistan. According to a press statement on Sunday, the flight from London airport (BA-261) that was scheduled to leave for Islamabad around 9:15pm will land at the Islamabad airport at 9:25am on Monday.
"The final touches are coming together for the airline’s return ahead of the first flight on Sunday,” British Airways said in a statement.
It will launch three-per-week flights to London Heathrow, it said. A total of 240 passengers will arrive by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Pakistani and British flags in their hands.
The same aircraft, as flight BA- 260, will depart for Heathrow at 11:10am with passengers on board from Islamabad.
Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer at British Airways, said: "The excitement is building as we put the final touches to this route launch. The anticipation from customers and colleagues has been palpable and we hope customers in both the UK and Pakistan will enjoy the classically British service we offer, with thoughtful bespoke touches.”
Aftab Khan who speaks both English and Urdu, and is one of the crew operating the inaugural flight, said: "I can’t wait for what will be such a wonderful occasion. To be chosen to operate this flight, with my close family links to Pakistan, is a real honour. I know that my colleagues operating the flight are just as excited.”
British Airways’ long-haul flights include extremely generous hand baggage allowances - one large cabin bag with a small laptop or handbag - complimentary food and drink, online check-in and free seat selection 24 hours prior to departure.
Customers landing in to London can connect on to British Airways’ network which includes over 30 destinations across North America, with over 70 flights per day to the US through the airline’s joint business with American Airlines. Customers can also connect to over 30 countries in Europe.
British Airways is amid a £6.5 billion investment for customers, including the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.
In line with the spirit of this joyous occasion, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Hussain Bukhari and senior officials of Aviation Division and the British High Commission will welcome the passengers at Islamabad International Airport.
The same aircraft will depart for Heathrow at 11:10am with passengers on board from Islamabad.
Later in the day, Khan Dawood, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan along with British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, Chief Commercial Officer British Airways Andrew Brem and Secretary Aviation will hold a joint news conference.
As per the flight programme during the summer season, the British Airways will fly thrice a week between Heathrow and Islamabad.
Considering presence of large Pakistani diaspora in the United Kingdom, the British Air flights will provide a convenient connection between the two countries.
Apart from the diaspora, the flight link will promote cultural values, tourism and business opportunities between the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
As a new hub for air travel, Islamabad International Airport will provide easy and convenient access to all parts of Pakistan. Several other major air operators have shown keen interest in initiating operations to Islamabad.
It is expected that with the growth of number of passengers and cargo traffic, the initiatives will provide impetus to the growth of the aviation sector in line with the National Aviation Policy, 2019.
Separately, The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated a probe into supplies of new and old tyres of aircraft belonging to the national flag-carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
The intelligence agency commenced thorough investigation against non-recovery of tyres despite advance payments worth millions made by the PIA administration.
It is noteworthy to mention here that a foreign company was given an order for the provision of new and old tyres for PIA planes. However, the company has failed to comply with the order despite payment of $200,000.
NNI News Service
"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, it said.
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