Virgin Atlantic, a British airline, announced on Aug 27 that it will be operating direct flights between the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
The airline said that it will start direct flights from Heathrow Airport, London to Lahore and Islamabad from December 2020. It will also operate direct flights from Manchester Airport to Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.
The tickets will go on sale in September.
Currently, only PIA and the British Airways operate flights on the route. However, early in July this year the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority withdrew PIA’s permit to operate from Birmingham, Heathrow and Manchester airports. It took the decision after Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan pronounced 262 pilot licenses ‘dubious’.
Sarwar’s statement dealt a fresh blow to PIA, already struggling for survival, as more than half of these pilots belong to it. As a result, PIA grounded 141 pilots suspected of fake licenses and fired 28 of them. The CAA also suspended 34 licenses.