British Airways Lands Flights in Pakistan After Four Decades

When British Airways landed their first flight at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, they officially put an end to a 40-year hiatus. On Tuesday, the airline company allowed a direct flight operation to go to and from the province of Punjab. 

Carrying 214 total passengers, the flight BA-259 took off from the renowned Heathrow Airport. Earlier in the morning today, it landed at the Lahore airport. 

Celebrations were taken to the CIP lounge. The attendees cut a cake to mark the resumption of the airline company’s direct flight operations to the country. Amongst those who joined in the celebrations were the airport manager and various other CAA officers. Additionally, passengers on the British carrier’s first flight after four decades were also present for the occasion. 

Moreover, the flight is scheduled to fly back to Heathrow Airport in London with over 200 passengers on board. 

Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, took to twitter to inform the public of the past operations of the British Airways. His tweet stated that the British airline carrier previously operated in two major cities of Pakistan. However, after a total of four decades, the company has now started direct flight operations to another city namely, Lahore. 

Turner also welcomed British Airways and their first flight to Lahore. He expressed hopes of the airline company facilitating increased connectivity, business investments, and people-to-people ties. Lastly, the tweet ended with the hashtag #UKPakDost. 

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan also had a meeting with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister. The meeting took place in Islamabad where the two had important discussions related to the situation in Kashmir, peace with Afghanistan, and various others. 

FM Qureshi also talked to Turner about how Pakistan and UK were in dire need of strengthening their trade partnership. He stated that the two countries have had longstanding and deep bilateral relations, which could help promote a healthier bond between the two. 

Referring to the atrocities being committed by the Indian Army in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the foreign minister also urged the international community to help the people trapped there. He called for support and asked that the Kashmir dispute be resolved. FM Qureshi also advised that UN Security Council resolutions should be used to put the matter to bed, once and for all. 

The UK diplomat praised Pakistan for its conciliatory efforts for friendship in Afghanistan. They also commended the country for being proactive in devising strategies to fight the deadly coronavirus. 

Representatives from the two countries also had discussions about promoting cooperation in other areas such as tourism, education, and most importantly, climate change.