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Naya Pakistan bearing fruit: Air France to resume operations


News Desk |

Following British Airways, French Airline Air France is mulling over resuming flight operations to Pakistan, Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan said in an announcement on Friday, 15th February.

Addressing a press conference, the Federal Minister said that the French flag carrier Air France is set to resume its operations in Pakistan after 11 years. He said that the airline had been planning to resume its services after witnessing a conducive business environment in Pakistan.

The minister added that Pakistan stands ready to be a hub of commerce, trade, and foreign investment. “A major step in this direction is the revised visa policy of government giving visa-free access to more than 50 countries,” he said.

The carrier’s announcement was “a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan” in the years since said British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew in a statement.

With the security situation being improved significantly improved in Pakistan, the militant attacks have sharply decreased in the country, giving way to tourism and trade opportunities. Earlier, an Iranian airline had also expressed interest to start flight operation in Pakistan.

According to media reports, Iranian Airline ATA had expressed this interest in a letter written on January 6. The airline stated in the letter that it wants to start flight operations to and from Pakistan via its A320 and MD-83 planes.

The British Airways had announced in December 2018 that it would resume its flight operations to Pakistan from June 2019 with direct flights between Heathrow-London and Islamabad thrice a week.

Read more: British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan after 10 years

The British carrier, which halted services in 2008 after the deadly Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad, will return in June 2019 with three weekly flights from London’s Heathrow airport to the Pakistani capital, airline officials had said, GVS earlier reported.

BA had six weekly flights to the Pakistani capital before the Marriott attack, which killed more than 50 people and triggered a major draw-down by embassies and international agencies over safety concerns.

Read more: PIA to cash in on CPEC by announcing flights to Gwadar

The carrier’s announcement was “a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan” in the years since said British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew in a statement. “We only fly somewhere when we know it’s safe to do so,” Robert Williams, BA’s head of sales for Asia, told a press conference in Islamabad.

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