LONDON – British Airways (BA) has today resumed services to Pakistan from London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
The first flight, BA260, landed into Islamabad yesterday, which coincided with Pakistan’s Independence Day.
Such services will commence on a thrice-weekly basis, operating on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
According to data from FlightRadar24, the route is being serviced by the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
With the aircraft type in mind, there is a total of 214 seats on offer per flight. This includes 35 seats in Club World in a 2-2-2 configuration, with 25 seats in World Traveler Plus with a 2-3-2 configuration.
Finally, in World Traveler, there are 154 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.
A Reinstated Relationship
The route restart comes following a well-refreshed relationship between British Airways and Pakistan.
Back in June 2019, the airline initially resumed services to Islamabad after a 10-year hiatus.
The Islamabad route in particular had launched in 1976.
The route was initially cancelled due to the security situation in Pakistan a decade ago.
It also meant that British Airways became the first Western carrier to return to the country as well.
Then as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across air travel, the service had to be suspended again.
Comments from the Delegation
The British High Commissioner for Pakistan Dr. Christian Turner CMG commented on the re-launch.
“[This is] a big boost for the hundreds of thousands of travellers who travel regularly between our two great nations.”
He also referred to trade as this flight renewal is an “important step in reconnecting the trade ties and people-to-people ties between the UK and Pakistan.”
He added his thanks to British Airways and the Pakistan Government for making the route possible.
Also commenting on the news was Moran Binger, Head of Sales, Asia Pacific and the Middle East at BA who was pleased about the launch.
“We know many of our customers in both countries have been waiting to be reunited with friends and family. We look forward to welcoming them back on board.”
Pakistan Open for Business
With Pakistan now opening up for domestic and international services, it comes as no surprise that BA is using this to expand in the world again.
As countries are opening up again for travel, it is in the interests of the airline and others to boost its presence.
British Airways now joins the following list of other carriers operating into the region:
- Etihad Airways
- Oman Air
- Air Arabia
- SaudiGulf Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Malindo Air
Either way, this is good news for BA as it aims to bring in as much revenue as possible during this pandemic.
Good News for British Airways
This will be somewhat an element of good news for BA, especially with the negative press received recently.
For instance, BA CEO Alex Cruz will appear before the UK Government’s Transport Committee next month.
The reasoning behind this is for scrutiny regarding cutting jobs whilst taking advantage of the Job Retention Scheme.
British Airways is currently around halfway through such job cuts at the moment, with 12,000 expected to be axed in total.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how BA positions itself over the next few months and whether it can weather the storm going forward.
Featured Image: BA’s 25th 787 Dreamliner lands at LHR for the first time. Photo Credit: British Airways