Virgin Atlantic crew members raise the British and Pakistani flags at Islamabad airport.
Gulf Today Report
In a historic move, British airline Virgin Atlantic’s first flight landed in Islamabad on Friday morning, commencing its operations to Pakistan.
The flight that landed in Islamabad took off from Manchester Airport.
Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said on Twitter, "Bauhat Mubarak, With @sayedzbukhari at touch-down of the first @VirginAtlantic flight. From 0 flights to 20 a week is a sign of confidence in Pakistan #UKPakDosti…”
Prime Minister's Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari received the flight at the tarmac.
Bukhari said, “Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight lands in Islamabad. 🛬”
“Great new step for our UK&EU based diaspora. Pakistan is more connected & open for travel & tourism today than it has been in decades.”
Virgin Atlantic said on Twitter, “Salam Pakistan, We’re thrilled to let you know that our inaugural flight from @manairport to Islamabad took off today with services from @heathrowairport to Islamabad and Lahore also commencing this month. We can't wait to take you there.”
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) granted approval to Virgin Atlantic to start its flight operations in response to its request made on Dec.2. Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to start its flight operations to Islamabad and Lahore. The airliner will use Airbus A-332 aircraft to continue a weekly eight-flight operation to the two cities.
The airline had reportedly sought permission to operate flights from Manchester and London. It had earlier announced three routes to Pakistan: UK - London-Lahore, London-Islamabad and Manchester-Islamabad. The federal cabinet had given approval to the airline to operate direct flights between Pakistan and London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were accorded a red-carpet reception on their arrival at the airport, then were escorted to a hotel amid tight security.
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