See More on Facebook

Business

British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan after 10 years

Flights were halted due to security concerns.


Written by

Updated: December 19, 2018

British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan from June next year, announced the airline on Tuesday.

“Direct flights from London Heathrow to Islamabad’s new airport to start in June,” said British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in a video on Twitter. “A further boost to links between the UK and Pakistan, especially on trade and investment.

In September 2008, British Airways had suspended all its flights to Pakistan “for an indefinite period” citing security concerns in the aftermath of the Marriott Hotel bombing that claimed more than 50 lives and injured more than 250 people.

According to a press release on the airline’s website, the route will launch as a three-per-week service, operated on a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with return fares starting from £499 [roughly Rs89,000].

‘Groundbreaking’ announcement

“All of us at British Airways could not be more pleased to be coming back to Pakistan and we very much look forward to June next year, when our first flight will touch down at your spectacular new airport,” said Robert Williams, the British Airways head of sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Prime Minister’s special assistant Zulfi Bukhari hails British Airways' decision to resume flights at a press conference on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

He was speaking at a press conference in Islamabad alongside Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari.

“We hope that our new route will allow more people from the United Kingdom to experience what a beautiful country Pakistan is,” said Williams.

“British Airways coming back after a decade shows you where we were and how far we’ve come,” Bukhari said, terming the announcement “groundbreaking”. “This is a huge achievement for where we [Pakistan] want to be. It’s a huge step for this government that it has given foreign investors that security to come back.”

He added that this sense of security was “vital” for other various investments to come in.

Bukhari added that the second important point was the “connectivity factor”. “British Airways is a prestigious airline,” noted Bukhari, who is a dual national of the United Kingdom. “Pakistan is becoming less isolated and becoming more connected to the world — and that’s the Pakistan we want to see. We want to see a Pakistan that is heavily connected with the world.”

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, and Industries, Abdul Razzak Dawood, also addressed the media and lauded the airline’s decision to fly to Pakistan.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business

Italy to play a key role as Belt and Road opens new doors across globe

Italy will be a major part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. East-West relations have entered a new phase. Global integration, with sustained increases in crossborder exchanges of goods, technology, knowledge and resources, has reshaped international relations, spurring economic development of traditionally marginal regions and encouraging economic convergence among poorer and richer areas. The phenomenon has received great impetus from the possibilities offered by technological progress and the increase in physical and digital connectivity, strongly enhanced by the modernization and innovation efforts of Asian countries. What we have seen and are still seeing, indeed, is not a simple shift of production from the West to the East, but a real change in production models. The production and consumption of goods and services have followed value chains that are no longer confined to a local scale, but are


By China Daily
March 22, 2019

Business

Mahathir chairs economic meeting, cost of living takes centre stage

The Economic Action Council’s main aim is to spur and stimulate sustainable economic growth. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad chaired the first meeting of the  Economic Action Council (EAC), which had tackling the cost of living high on the agenda. The meeting on Wednesday (March 20) looked at measures to improve the living standards of the B40 group. The Economic Affairs Ministry, which acts as the secretariat to the EAC, said that three papers were presented by representatives from the ministry, as well as the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry. “Aside from the cost of living, the idea of social entrepreneurship as a platform to improve the livelihood of B40 households was also brought to the meeting’s attention, as well as the implementation of decisions made by the National Action Coun


By The Star
March 21, 2019

Business

India calls emergency meeting over Jet Airways

Aviation Minister calls emergency meeting as debt-ridden Jet Airways grounds flights. Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday directed his ministry’s secretary to hold an emergency meeting on debt-ridden Jet Airways cancelling flights after grounding a large part of its fleet. The minister’s direction came in the wake of the airliner drastically reducing its operations due to liquidity crunch. “Directed Secretary, @MOCA GOI to hold an emergency meeting on grounding of flights by Jet Airways, advance bookings, cancellations, refunds and safety issues, if any,” Prabhu said in a tweet. “Asked him (civil aviation secretary) to get a report on Jet compliance issues immediately from DGCA,” he added. Cash-strapped Jet Airways had on Monday said it had grounded four more planes, taking the number of aircraft that are non-operational due to non-payment of lease rental


By The Statesman
March 20, 2019

Business

Opinion: Japan must return to being South-east Asia’s top trade partner

Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh called on Japan to return to Asean as its top investor, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Veteran diplomats jousted at a public forum here over the question of whether Japan is sufficiently invested in South-east Asia, amid the former’s concerns about China’s growing influence in the region. Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh called on Japan to return to Asean as its top investor, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. “You were Asean’s number one trade partner. Now you are number four. You were also number one in foreign direct investments. Now you are not. You have lost so much ground in South-east Asia,” he said.


By The Straits Times
March 20, 2019

Business

Demonization of Huawei will prove to be a political farce

A China Daily editorial looks at the ongoing fracas involving tech giants Huawei. China’s Palace Museum signed an agreement on Friday with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to promote the use of its 5G telecommunications technology. With the new generation telecoms technology, the Forbidden City, which is the tourist site that welcomes the largest number of visitors in the world each year, will definitely provide state-of-the-art services. Supported by the much faster mobile network, the museum will likely be digitalized to such an extent that visitors thousands of miles away may be able to explore it in virtual reality. And those visiting it in person will be able to learn about the treasures it houses in greater detail with the aid of digital technology. In the past 20 years since the museum started to facilitate its work with digital technology, a lot of information about the cultural relics it preser


By China Daily
March 18, 2019

Business

Wife of militant detonates bomb in Indonesia

Security officials around the region are wary of returning militants from the middle east. The wife of arrested Indonesian militant Husain alias Abu Hamzah detonated a bomb that killed herself and her children early Wednesday morning (March 13) inside a house besieged by police in Sibolga, North Sumatra. Police chief Tito Karnavian said late on Tuesday three children were inside the house, and police on Wednesday said the children died in the blast. “A team from the detachment 88 anti terror squad and local community leaders in Sibolga had spent 10 hours persuading her to surrender. We made a strong appeal, stressing minors were involved,” Brig-Gen Dedi said. The blast occurred at about 1.30am local time. Police arrested Husain on Tuesday after a raid in Lampung, in southern Sumatra, over the weekend, where a militant identified as initial R alias P was nabbed. He and Husein are believ


By The Straits Times
March 14, 2019