British Airways has resumed flights to Pakistan, more than 10 years after it pulled its routes following a deadly bomb blast outside a hotel in capital Islamabad.
BA’s three-times weekly Heathrow-Islamabad route took off on Sunday (2 June), flying to Islamabad’s brand new international airport, which opened in May last year.
The airline confirmed plans to resume flights to Pakistan last December. The route will be operated by a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, flying Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
BA stopped flying to Pakistan in September 2008 after a bomb was detonated outside a Marriott hotel in Islamabad, killing 54 people and injuring more than 250 others.
Islamabad’s new airport though has “eased concerns” over security and congestion, the BBC reports.
Ahead of the launch Andrew Brem, BA chief commercial officer, said the flights would offer a “classically British service... with thoughtful bespoke touches”.
Flights will offer halal meals free of pork and alcohol, while BA will leverage the skills of its Pakistani and Pakistani-British cabin crews who speak Urdu.
BA becomes the first airline besides Pakistan International Airlines to offer direct flights between Pakistan and the UK.