British Airways resumed operations to Pakistan on Monday, over a decade after they were suspended in September 2008 in the wake of the Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad. BA stopped flights to the country after a terrorist attack in Isalamabad killed at least 54 people including six British citizens.
BA’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 240 passengers on board , departed from Heathrow, London, and touched down at Islamabad International Airport at 9:15am on Monday. The airline is now scheduled to fly three times a week to Islamabad from London Heathrow . It is the only western airline to serve Pakistan.
A new airport was opened in Islamabad in 2018, which has eased concerns about both security and congestion. Ghulam Sarwar Khan Minister for Aviation , Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and senior officials of the Aviation Division and British High Commission welcomed the passengers at the airport.
British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said “The resumption of flight operation of British Airways is great. Today is a good day for both Pakistan and Britain and we are also happy about the better security situation in the country”
BA 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.Unprecedented security, including more than 600 police, Quick Response Force units and snipers were in place at the time of the flight’s arrival.
The same aircraft departed for Heathrow at 11:10am with passengers on board from Islamabad.