British Airways will resume its flights to Pakistan next week after a decade of suspension following the bombing of a hotel in Islamabad, becoming the first Western airline to resume flights to the South Asian country.
The British company had stopped service to Pakistan following the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in 2008, which occurred during a period of escalating violence by militants in Pakistan.
Security has since improved with a sharp decline in militant attacks in the country of 208 million, mostly Muslims, reviving Pakistan as a destination for tourists and investors.
“The airline’s return is being finalized before the first flight on the second Sunday of June,” British Airways said in a statement.
The airline will launch three flights a week from Heathrow Airport in London.
The company will start service Heathrow-Islamabad using its latest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Currently, Pakistan Airlines (Pakistan International Airlines), which is suffering losses, flies direct flights from Pakistan to Britain, but its fleet of aging aircraft is a frequent source of passenger complaints.
Middle East airlines, including Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline, have a strong presence in Pakistan, where the declining market share of Pakistan Airlines is tarnished.