New Delhi: The British Airways opened its first office in Islamabad as the airlines relaunched flight services between the Heathrow in London, United Kingdom, and Islamabad in Pakistan after more than 10 years on Monday.Also Read - Pak PM Imran Khan Bats for Taliban, Says Incentivise Them on Women's Rights, Inclusive Govt
The airlines had stopped service in 2008 after the bombing at the Marriott hotel in the capital city Islamabad that killed more than 50 civilians. It is also the only western airline who has resumed service to Pakistan post the attack. Also Read - Don't Need Lessons From 'Failed State': India Hits Out at Pak, OIC For Raising Kashmir Issue at UNHRC
The crowd greeted by waving the union flag and the Pakistan national flag as the British Airways 787 aircraft touched the ground. The return of the airlines will be seen as a mark of rebuilding a strong bond and boosting trade between the countries. Also Read - Good News: UK Likely to Relax Travel Guidelines For Indians Including RT-PCR Test, Quarantine Rules From Oct 1
Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer at Britsh Airways who was on board the first flight to Pakistan, said, “Today is a great occasion for British Airways as we resume flights to Islamabad after a decade. The atmosphere on board our state-of-the-art 787 aircraft was spectacular, as was the warm welcome on the ground.”
“British Airways has a proud history of flying to Pakistan – we first operated flights to Islamabad in 1976 – and we couldn’t be more excited to be back,” he added.
The International Trade Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox MP congratulated the airlines on its return and said, “We are confident that British Airways will act as a catalyst to bring even more British companies to one of the world’s largest markets.”
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew tweeted on Sunday congratulating the airlines as it took off from Heathrow.
The 787 aircraft is also the British Airways’ newest long-haul aircraft and is made in a way that passengers feel more comfortable and has a number of colleagues who speak Urdu.
The airplane will run three times a week on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from London Heathrow airport.