Naz Shah MP
writes to CEO, BA,
to continue flights
for Islamabad

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14

BRADFORD: Since, British Airways has temporarily suspended direct flights between Islamabad Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport due to operational reasons,

Naz Shah MP

Labour member of Parliament from Bradford Ms. Naz Shah has written a letter to Mr. Sean Doyle, CEO, British Airways that I am writing to you following concerns raised to me by my constituents regarding British Airways cutting back direct flights to Pakistan in the coming weeks.

In July 2020, when the airline announced it was resuming flight operations to Pakistan from the UK, it signalled the continued importance of ties between the two countries.

Ms. Naz Shah said that Britain and Pakistan have many things in common, their biggest connection being British Pakistanis that provide regular trade and travel between the two nations. Hundreds of thousands of people travel through the great nations, making it an important travel route.

“It has become apparent that from the 15th June 2022, British Airways will have no direct flights to Pakistan. This means that travellers who are usually able to travel to Islamabad from London on a direct 7-hour flight, either have to pay excessive amounts of money to find alternative direct flights, (due to a limited number of flights), or have to travel via a third country, with travel times reaching up to 18-20 hours. British Airways has already reduced flights from London to Lahore”.

The announcement in 2020 by British Airways brought great joy to many people, who felt a sense of national pride. If British Airways proceed with its plans to cut all direct flights, it will cause prices to rise during the peak travel seasons.

As a Member of Parliament that represents a huge Pakistani diaspora community, I urge you to reconsider your decision and explore all avenues available to ensure direct flights from the UK to Pakistan are retained.

It may be recalled that British Airways has temporarily suspended direct flights between Islamabad Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport due to operational reasons.

According to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson, British Airways has suspended Islamabad-London flights from June 15 to June 30 due to some operational reasons.

The spokesperson has termed all such reports claiming that the British airline has grounded all flights to Pakistan due to unavailability of fuel as “baseless and fake.”

Letter of Naz Shah MP

The airline will soon resume flights between Islamabad and London, he added.

Back in February this year, British Airways suspended direct flights between Lahore and London Heathrow on completion of the duration of the agreement.

According to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson, The UK-based airline had suspended Lahore-London flights due to some operational reasons.

It may be noted that British Airways resumed its flight operations to Pakistan in June 2019. The airline’s direct flights restarted in June 2019 after a break of 10 years. The carrier first flew to Islamabad in 1976.

Flight operations that were suspended again due to the coronavirus pandemic resumed in August 2021.

The UK-based airline was operating direct flights between Islamabad and Heathrow Airport London three times a week.