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British Airways jet takes off from Islamabad as first flight after Pakistan ended coronavirus lockdown

British Airways, which first flew to Islamabad in 1976, resumed its direct flights in June 2019 after a break of 10 years. AFP/Ben Stansall/Files

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom’s national flag carrier, British Airways, on Friday resumed its operations for Pakistan, fulfilling its promise of doing so on August 14, when its first flight took off from the capital, according to the British High Commission in Islamabad.

The British flag carrier had halted operations for Pakistan after restrictions were imposed in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

British Airways’ direct flights had earlier resumed in June 2019 after a break of 10 years. The carrier first flew to Islamabad in 1976.

Global curbs imposed to fight the pandemic have drastically impacted air travel, placing the future of many airline companies in doubt.

The UK High Commission wished everyone aboard a great flight on Twitter.

“Welcoming back @British_Airways to Pakistan! Keeping the [UK] and [Pakistan] — and our people — connected,” it added.

Earlier, the High Commission had said passengers would be required to wear masks and would have access to hand sanitisers during the flight due to the coronavirus. There were also extra measures in place at the airports to ensure travellers stayed safe.

British High Commissioner Christian Turner said this was an important moment for UK-Pakistan links.

“The resumption of British Airways direct flights is a big boost for the hundreds of thousands of travellers who travel regularly between our two great nations, many who have had their travel plans disrupted by the pandemic.

“I’d like to thank the Government of Pakistan, British Airways and my team in Pakistan who have worked hard to deliver this welcome news,” he added.

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