PIA Looking To Operate Flights To London

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to restart flights to London at the end of this month. The flag carrier of Pakistan is looking to hit the capital of the United Kingdom from October 31st.

EASA bans Pakistani licensed pilots
Pakistan International Airlines has big plans for its operations at the end of this month. Photo: Getty Images

Overcoming challenges

The airline’s operations to London were suspended this summer following controversial incidents involving fake pilot licenses. However, the firm is finding a way to have a presence in the country through its collaborations with Hi Fly.

PIA has been wet-leasing Hi Fly’s A330neo aircraft to get around restrictions since its banning from the likes of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The two carriers have been working together to repatriate passengers to Pakistan from Europe with special flights amid the global health crisis. A Hi Fly A330 has even traveled between Manchester and Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad.

Hi Fly A330
The first delivery of an Airbus A330neo with Hi Fly livery was in September 2019. Photo: Airbus

Looking forward

According to Pakistani newspaper Business Recorder, a representative for the airline spoke about the upcoming service. In first instance, the operations will be from Islamabad to London, from Lahore to London, and from Islamabad to Manchester. Additionally, the spokesperson emphasized that the airline’s passengers will have comfortable seats, halal food, and top inflight entertainment on these direct flights.

PIA Boeing 777-200
Pakistan International Airlines has been busy repatriating Pakistani citizens and residents since the pandemic started. Photo: Getty Images

Tickets for operations such as flight PK9785 are on sale. This service is set to leave Islamabad on October 31st at 10:30. The plane would then land at London Heathrow after eight hours and 10 minutes at 13:30.

National progress

This update comes days after British Airways touched down in Lahore for the first time ever. According to another report by Business Recorder, British Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan Alison Blackburne has high hopes about these events.

Blackburne said the following, according to the report:

“The first of many, this new direct flight will allow thousands of people who travel between our two great nations to visit friends and family, and support increased trade links. Indeed, this is a sign of confidence in Pakistan and the best of UK-Pak friendship.”

British Airways, Long Haul, Fleet Status
British Airways sees value in expanding to the Lahore, the largest city in the province of Punjab. Photo: Getty Images

Altogether, it sounds like there is progress with connections between the UK and Pakistan following a challenging year. Passengers traveling between the two countries will be keeping a close eye on this situation over the next few months.

Simple Flying reached out to Pakistan International Airlines for comment on its flights to the United Kingdom. A spokesperson confirmed that a Hi Fly A330-900 will be operating the flights.

Altogether, what are your thoughts about PIA operating flights to London at the end of this month? Will you be flying with the airline on one of its routes to the United Kingdom? Let us know what you think of these services in the comment section.