Virgin Atlantic makes its way to Pakistan

Virgin Atlantic in Pakistan

A renowned British Airline, Virgin Atlantic launched its operation in Pakistan. Their first flight (VS-362) from Manchester landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad earlier this month. The airport officials conducted a small opening ceremony to welcome the new airline in the country. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Zulfi Bukhari and British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner were present in the ceremony to receive the passengers. The next flight landed in Lahore a few days later.

Pakistan is an addition to an already extensive route operation of Virgin Atlantic. It is offering three routes from Pakistan to UK. Two of them are from Islamabad to London Heathrow and Manchester, and one is from Lahore to London Heathrow. This is Virgin Atlantic’s first new operation launch since the beginning of the global pandemic.

Dr. Christian Turner, while addressing the ceremony said that, ‘eighteen months ago we ad no British carriers flying here in Pakistan, but today we have over 20 direct flights per week. It is a historic day as Virgin Atlantic is now flying to Pakistan. These are the signs of real confidence and progress in the country.’ He further added that ‘when I arrived in Pakistan, you asked me to help change perceptions. A year on, we have changed travel advice, seen the return of England cricket to Pakistan, and now British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are flying direct. Because in difficult times, friends help lift each other up.’

Virgin Atlantic has introduced precautionary measures for the passengers and the flight crew. The cabins are equipped with electrostatic sprays, sanitizers, and other cleaning devices. The official press release by the airline stated that the onboard customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack. Personalized meals will also be provided to reduce interaction between customers. As the airline promises a ‘Fly safe, eat well’ meal box to the passengers.

Virgin Atlantic will operate 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on all routes from Pakistan. Each flight will have upper class, premium and economic cabins. Over 1000 hours of in-flight passenger entertainment is also available with a variety of movies and tv shows. Apart from this, the airline also offers fast cargo services for its users enabling better trade volumes in both countries.

However, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has shown its reservations upon the arrival of a new airline in the country. Since July this year, operations from PIA have been suspended in Europe by EASA.