Crawley-based Virgin Atlantic has announced its plans to launch services to Pakistan for the first time from December this year.
Operating three new routes from London/Heathrow to Lahore and Islamabad, as well as Manchester to Islamabad – the new flights will also offer speedy connections for passengers travelling onto any of the airline’s transatlantic services.
Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “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 the demand to visit friends and relatives will increase post-COVID-19.
“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.”
As well as flying customers, Virgin says the new connections will offer a fast and efficient cargo service, presenting new opportunities for companies looking export and import goods such as fresh produce and textiles between prime markets in the UK, US and Pakistan.
Jarvinen added: “We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Pakistan market. Using the strength of our trans-Atlantic 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.”
It is not known what aircraft type the airline will roster for the services, but it’s thought they could either opt for a Boeing 787 or Airbus A330-300.