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Thursday Jul 30 2020
Web Desk

Coronavirus: British Airways resumes flights to Pakistan

Web Desk
The airline said it would start direct flights three times a week to and from Heathrow Airport and Islamabad. — Reuters/Files

British Airways on Thursday announced it is resuming flight operations to Pakistan from the UK, a statement from British High Commission in Islamabad said, signalling the continued importance of ties between the two countries.

The airline said it would start direct flights three times a week to and from Heathrow Airport and Islamabad. 

"The first flight will land in Islamabad on 14 August, and will be taking extra precautionary measures for the safety of its crew and passengers," the statement said.

Due to COVID-19, passengers will be required to wear masks and will have access to hand sanitisers during the flight. There are also extra measures in place at airports to ensure travellers stay safe.

British High Commissioner Christian Turner said this was an important moment for UK-Pakistan links.

"The resumption of British Airways direct flights is a big boost for the hundreds of thousands of travellers who travel regularly between our two great nations, many who have had their travel plans disrupted by the pandemic. I’d like to thank to the Government of Pakistan, British Airways and my team in Pakistan who have worked hard to deliver this welcome news," he said.

Meanwhile, Moran Birger, Head of Sales, Asia Pacific and the Middle East at British Airways, said: "We are pleased to once again provide a service between Pakistan and the UK, adding: "We know many of our customers in both countries have been waiting to be reunited with friends and family. 

British Airways direct flights restarted in June 2019 after a break of 10 years. The carrier first flew to Islamabad in 1976.

From London Heathrow the flights will be on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, departing at 20:30 and arriving in Islamabad at 04:20. 

From Islamabad flights will be on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing at 06:15 and arriving in London at 15:00.

Earlier this year, British Airways, which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, was seeking to lay off a quarter of its pilots hurt by the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to their union and seen by Reuters.

Global curbs imposed to fight the pandemic have slammed air travel, placing the future of many airline companies in doubt.