LONDON – British Airways (BA) has today announced it will launch flights to Lahore (LHE). This comes following a service launch to Islamabad (ISB) last year.
Services will launch from London Heathrow (LHR) on October 14, operating on a four times per week basis.
Comments from British Airways
Commenting on the news was Moran Birger, the Head of Sales for the Middle East & Asia Pacific at BA who expressed great delight over the announcement.
“We are delighted to start direct flights four times a week from Lahore to London offering convenient travel options for customers flying for leisure or business. Our new services from Lahore will connect two of Pakistan’s biggest cities with London, and offer seamless transfer options to Manchester, the United States, and Canada.”
“Following the relaunch of services from Islamabad to Heathrow earlier this year, this new flight from Lahore represents our continued investment in Pakistan, and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board.”
Equipment in use will be the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, offering 35 seats in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus, and 154 in World Traveller. The 35 seats in Club World feature a 2-3-2 configuration, with World Traveller Plus offering 2-3-2 as well and Economy at 3-3-3.
BA259 will depart Lahore at 1755L, before arriving into London Heathrow at 0540L the next day. The return, BA258, will depart LHR at 0800L, before arriving into Lahore at 1255L.
The political relationship between the United Kingdom and Pakistan will no doubt be strengthened as a result of this link. There will be more options for tourism and beyond, as Dr. Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan explains.
“The first-ever British Airways flights to Lahore is a sign of confidence in Pakistan, and the deepening ties between our two countries. I hope it will open up even more opportunities for business links, people-to-people ties, and tourism.”
Looking ahead of COVID-19 and towards BREXIT, this will be a vital link for the UK to have in terms of trade, especially with previous deals with the likes of Japan and others in the far-east being made.
Strong Demand Ahead?
Around three weeks ago, competitor Virgin Atlantic (VS) announced an expansion into the Pakistani market. With BA now penetrating the market further into the likes of Lahore as well as operating the recently reinstated ISB route last year, it remains clear that there is strong demand for that market.
This may have emerged following the temporary resumption of services from Pakistan International Airlines (PK), which relaunched services through HiFly (5K) from three destinations in the UK. Even if PK is not using its own aircraft to service the flights, it is still going to create quite a competitive atmosphere on the UK-Pakistan links.
As a result, we could see fare drops, especially with COVID-19 still hampering the commercial sector. Either way, it will be interesting to see how BA fares on the Lahore route, especially with the success of the ISB route so far.
Featured Image: British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.