British Airways to return to Islamabad for first time in a decade

British Airways to return to Islamabad for first time in a decade

British Airways has today announced that it will fly from Heathrow to Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, from June 2nd next year.

It is the first time the carrier has flown to Pakistan in more than a decade.

The airline stopped flying to the country after the Marriott hotel in the capital, Islamabad, was bombed in 2008, killing more than 50 people.

The route will launch as a three-per-week service, operated on a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Robert Williams, head of sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, 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.

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“On the route, customers will enjoy the very best in flying.

“Not only is it being operated on our newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but it will also be landing in to the new airport in Islamabad, which opened earlier this year.”

Islamabad is a quiet and tranquil city with plenty of green spaces, gardens and parks.

It is a hub for culture with a rich heritage and has an impressive collection of museums, markets, mosques and hiking trails, as well as restaurants which serve a variety of cuisines from local Pakistani dishes to food from around the world.

The airline has a long history of flying to the city and offered its first scheduled flights between London and the Pakistani capital in 1976.

Islamabad is one of four long-haul routes being launched by British Airways in 2019, its centenary year.

The airline is also launching direct flights to Pittsburgh and Charleston in the US and Osaka in Japan, alongside several short-haul routes.

Thomas Drew, 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.”

Watch below as high commissioner Drew discusses the route in more detail: