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UK High Commissioner Hints at BA’s Return to Pakistan

Thomas Drew, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, has hinted that British Airways may once more commence flight services to the South Asian country. BA pulled its in-country operations after the bombing of an Islamabad hotel in 2008. The carrier has not officially commented on its intentions.

The United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Pakistan has intimated that British Airways may once more commence flight services to the South Asian country, the Express Tribune reports. The carrier indefinitely suspended its services to Pakistan following the bombing of an Islamabad hotel back in 2008. Thomas Drew CMG, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, was quoted by the outlet as saying that BA’s in-country operations have been suspended “due to unavoidable circumstances.”

Speaking of the wider commercial links between the two countries, Drew said, “The UK and Pakistan are partners with strong trade ties and many British businesses are operating in the country.”

Drew also made an effort to assuage any fears regarding the potential impact that Brexit would have on trade relations between the two nations and said that the United Kingdom’s commercial commitment to Pakistan is “strong.”

British Airways has yet to offer any official comment as to whether it is, in fact, preparing to re-start flight services to the country. When the carrier pulled its operations from Pakistan a decade ago, it offered only a single direct service to Islamabad, the nation’s capital.

The bomb attack on the city’s Marriott Hotel in September 2008 – which killed 53 people and left 266 injured – resulted in BA scrapping flights to the country. Commenting to the BBC at the time, a spokesperson for the carrier said that it was doing so “in light of the current security situation,” adding “We will not compromise on the safety of our customers, staff or planes.”

Pakistan International Airways (PIA), the flag carrier of Pakistan, continues to offer direct services between London and Pakistan.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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