ISLAMABAD: British airways Virgin Atlantic commenced its operations in Pakistan on Friday, becoming the latest international airline to start serving passengers in the country.
The first flight arrived in Islamabad earlier today and was received on the tarmac by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari and British High Commissioner Christian Turner.
Speaking on the occasion, Bukhari said the arrival of international carriers to Pakistan will boost trade and tourism and will also help in enhancing trade ties between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
“After British Airways, Virgin Atlantic is the second-largest airline in the UK to launch a series of flights to Pakistan,” said the Prime Minister’s aide. The airline will operate eight weekly flights to Pakistan.
Earlier in December, the airline was granted permission to operate to and from Pakistan. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved the airlines’ cargo and passenger flight operations and granted permission for passenger flights.
Dr Christian Turner, British High Commissioner Islamabad, Pakistan, expressed on the occasion saying, “Virgin Atlantic’s arrival in Pakistan for the first time is a historic moment. Our 1.6 million strong Pakistani diaspora in the UK is at the heart of our ties. 18 months ago we had no British airlines flying in Pakistan; today we have over 20 direct flights a week to both Islamabad and Lahore. This is a sign of confidence in Pakistan and will improve people to people links and boost trade. Followed by the change in travel advice and return of England cricket team to Pakistan, it further shows #UKPakDosti.” – TLTP