British Airways has announced that it will resume direct flights between Heathrow and Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, from 2 June 2019 after a ten-year hiatus.
BA is one of the first western airlines to resume flights to Pakistan following the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in which 54 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.
The route will launch with three flights per week and will be operated on a three-class B787 Dreamliner. BA says the aircraft make up its newest long-haul fleet, which is 20 per cent more fuel efficient.
Tickets for the route are available to buy now.
Islamabad is one of four long-haul routes launching in 2019 – BA’s centenary year – in addition to Pittsburgh and Charleston in the US and Osaka in Japan. The airline is also adding several short-haul routes to its network.
Flights will depart Heathrow at 2115 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving at Islamabad’s new international airport at 0955 local time. Return flights leave at 1140 and land at 1600 UK time.
Robert Williams, head of sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East at BA, said: “It’s exciting to be flying between Islamabad and Heathrow from next year, which we believe will be particularly popular with the British Pakistani community who want to visit, or be visited by, their relatives.”
Thomas Drew CMG, the British high commissioner to Pakistan, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming British Airways back to Pakistan. The launch of direct flights by British Airways between London Heathrow and Islamabad’s new international airport is excellent news for both countries.
“The links between Britain and Pakistan are already extraordinary – from culture and cricket to people, politics and education. I see this launch as a vote of confidence in the future of those links – and, of course, a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan in recent years. The return of British Airways will give a particular boost to our growing trade and investment links. British Airways itself joins an increasing number of British companies doing business in Pakistan. I hope too that it will allow more people from the UK to discover, like I have, what a beautiful country Pakistan is. I look forward to using the service myself when flights start in June.”