British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan


LONDON -- British Airways (BA) will resume flights to Pakistan next summer a decade after suspending operations because of security fears, the carrier announced Tuesday (December 18).

The British carrier, which halted services in 2008 after the deadly Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital, Islamabad, will return in June 2019 with three weekly flights from Heathrow Airport in London to the Pakistani capital, airline officials said.

BA had six weekly flights to Islamabad before the Marriott attack, which killed more than 50 people and triggered a major drawdown by embassies and international agencies over safety concerns.

The carrier's announcement was "a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan" in the years since, said British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew in a statement.

"We only fly somewhere when we know it's safe to do so," Robert Williams, BA's head of sales for Asia, told a press conference in Islamabad.

The announcement caused a stir on Twitter, where many Pakistanis responded with jubilation.

Tickets starting at $630 (Rs. 88,103) were due to go on sale from Tuesday.

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