A British Airways aircraft taxies on a runway upon landing at the Islamabad International Airport on Monday. AFP
First flight of British Airways to Pakistan landed at Islamabad International Airport on Monday, more than a decade after suspending the route following a deadly bomb blast.
Flight no BA-261 carrying 240 passengers via Boeing 787 Dreamliner, touched down at 9:25am.
Flights three times a week between London and Islamabad began on Monday, just ahead of the Eid Al Fitr holiday marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Sayed Zulfi Bukhari and British High Commissioner Thomas Drew welcomed the passengers.
The carrier had pulled out of Pakistan after the attack at Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel in September 2008, which left at least 54 people dead and many more injured, including six British citizens.
Pakistani officials welcome passengers of the British Airways flight with a rose upon their arrival on Monday. AFP
The three-flights-per-week service will be operated with Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and will serve the Pakistani capital’s main international airport.
British Airways said it will offer "bespoke services” including a halal meal option in every class of cabin and ensuring sauces used in meals do not include alcohol or pork.
It revealed there has been "considerable interest” from its Urdu-speaking Pakistani and British Pakistani cabin crew to work on the flights. Andrew Brem, chief commercial officer at British Airways, said: "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.”
Pakistani officials welcome passengers of the British Airways flight with a rose upon their arrival at the Islamabad airport. AFP
Aftab Khan, who speaks English and Urdu, was one of the crew operating the inaugural flight, which departed London at 9:15pm. He 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.”
When the resumption of flights was announced in December last year, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew said British Airways was joining an "increasing number of British companies doing business in Pakistan.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan told journalists that there have been positive indicators in the exploration process and the nation would likely be hearing major news on this front within the next three weeks.
ICO proposed the fine on Monday, months after BA revealed it had been the victim of a hack. The scam saw customers diverted to a fake website where credit card details were harvested by the attackers.
A Canadian model and humanitarian worker, Assma Gulata, has registered with police a case against two suspects for alleged sexual harassment and infringement of her rights.
A first information report registered at the Sihala police station of Islamabad quoted the woman, identified as Lahore-based Assma Gulata, saying she was in Bahria Town when two men in a car began "harassing me, telling me to get into the car."
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah (UoS), praised the achievements made by the university throughout its pioneering career, which included great development in all scientific, academic, research, administrative and other fields, which brought it to high international ratings.
Two Africans and two Asians killed a guard at a site under construction after gagging and tying him down while he was sleeping to steal electrical cables. The Criminal Court sentenced the two Africans to seven years in jail and sentenced the Asian ones to three years in jail. The Court of Appeal, however, increased the sentence to 10 years against the two Africans and to five years against the two Asians.
The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation upheld an appeal verdict obligating a man to pay his ex-wife Dhs3,100,000.
The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has announced the opening of registrations for the Sharjah Children’s Book Award and SCRF Visually Impaired Book Award. The deadline for receiving entries for both the awards is Sunday, March 13, 2022.