British Airways resumes flights to Islamabad


ISLAMABAD -- British Airways landed back in Pakistan Monday (June 3), in a major vote of confidence from a Western airline after suspending operations because of security fears over a decade ago.

The British carrier -- which halted services in 2008 following the deadly Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad -- is running three weekly flights from Heathrow Airport in London to Islamabad.

Britain is home to more than a million residents of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora community in Europe.

"Britain's flag carrier is back. The two countries, so close in so many ways, take a step closer," British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew said in a statement.

"It is of course tribute to the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan in recent years."

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.

Struggling Pakistan International Airlines had until Monday been the only carrier with non-stop flights between the two countries.

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