Virgin Atlantic airline on Thursday announced that it will operate flights between the UK and Pakistan from December 2020.
According to reports the new flights will fly on three new routes which include, London Heathrow to Lahore, London Heathrow to Islamabad and Manchester to Islamabad.
Virgin Atlantic Chief Commercial Officer JuhaJarvinen expressed excitement on the prospect of flights to and from Pakistan.
“Pakistan is an extremely exciting opportunity for us. It boasts one of the largest foreign-born populations in both the UK and the US and, as people start to travel to visit loved ones, we’re anticipating that the demand to visit friends and relatives will increase post Covid-19,” he said.
“Both Lahore and Islamabad are popular year-round destinations and we look forward to welcoming travellers onboard as demand for leisure and business travel gradually increases to the region,” he added.
“We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Pakistan market. Using the strength of our transatlantic services we’re able to offer customers the shortest journey to and from destinations in the US such as New York, Los Angeles and Washington by connecting through London Heathrow”.
Tickets for flights between the UK and Pakistan will go on sale from September 2020.
As well as flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer a fast, efficient cargo service presenting new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and textiles between prime markets in the UK, US and Pakistan.
“Trade in goods and services between the UK and Pakistan is worth some £3.3 billion a year, rising 4.7 per cent year-on-year in 2019, with high volumes of goods such as textiles, apparel and machinery,” the company said.
“The UK is the third biggest global market for Pakistani exporters after the US and China and their main trade lane in Europe”.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo Managing Director Dominic Kennedy added: “The import and export market for goods between the UK and Pakistan is extremely healthy, so we’re delighted to be offering our cargo customers another prime route with such positive growth opportunities. This is supported by our fast connections over London to Europe, the US and Africa, and this potential will become even greater as Virgin Atlantic continues to reintroduce more routes and frequencies as part of our Covid recovery plan.”
Virgin Atlantic restarted passenger flying on July 20, after a three month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is currently operating flights to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barbados and Miami with further routes expected to be added throughout September and October.