The announcement was made on the British Airline’s twitter account:
We’re thrilled to announce that from December, we’ll be flying direct to Pakistan. We’ll have flights from @HeathrowAirport to both Lahore and Islamabad, plus direct services from @manairport to Islamabad. Flights go on sale in September, and we can’t wait to welcome you. pic.twitter.com/61FS9dkaFb
— virginatlantic (@VirginAtlantic) August 27, 2020
The airline said that it will start direct flights from Heathrow Airport, London to Lahore and Islamabad from December 2020. It will also operate direct flights from Manchester Airport to Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.
Recently, the British Airways (BA) sought permission from Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to operate flights to Lahore. The airline’s team of experts had visited Allama Iqbal International Airport last week to review arrangements made by the airport management.
The Foreign Office say that, in 2018, there were an estimated 484,000 visits by British nationals to Pakistan.
Pakistan flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines had maintained a substantial route network between the United Kingdom and Pakistan. PIA has since been banned from flying to Europe (including the U.K.) for the remainder of 2020 following a review of the airline’s safety practices by the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) after a PIA Airbus A320 crashed in May 2020 in Pakistan with 97 passengers and crew killed. An investigation revealed the captain and first officer failed to follow standard safety procedures, or recognize alarms.
The airline also hopes to connect travelers between Pakistan and the United States, via its Heathrow and Manchester hubs.
The tickets will go on sale in September.