British Airways Resuming Flights To Pakistan

British Airways Resuming Flights To Pakistan

38

This one has been rumoured for a while…

For the first time in 10 years, British Airways will operate flights to Islamabad, Pakistan, three times weekly from June 2, 2019, with the following schedule, per Airline Route:

  • BA260 London Heathrow (LHR) to Islamabad (ISB) departing 9:15PM arriving 9:25AM (+1) (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
  • BA261 Islamabad to London Heathrow departing 11:10AM arriving 4:00PM (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

The flight will be operated by British Airways Boeing 787-8 featuring 35 business class, 25 premium economy and 154 economy seats.

It is blocked at 8 hours, 10 minutes east, and 8 hours, 50 minutes west.

British Airways Club World

This aircraft does not feature first class, and of all the aircraft in their fleet this is the ideal plane (and configuration) to operate this ‘long(ish), thin’ route of 3,778 miles.

The only carrier currently operating this route non stop is PIA, which operates the route with a Boeing 777. We criticise British Airways business class regularly here at OMAAT, but from reading Ben’s review of PIA business class I think the BA option is the better choice of the two carriers!

PIA 777 business class
PIA 777 business class

British Airways is good at releasing premium award seats on new routes, and the flights have been loaded, so I can see four economy and two business class award seats available on most flights already (which British Airways guarantees on all flights).

Bottom line

I think this route will do well for British Airways.

They’re recommencing it with the right aircraft and frequency. The UK is home to the largest Pakistani community in Europe, so there should be plenty of demand for a non stop flight and the current competition’s product isn’t difficult to beat.

I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see them also launch flights to Karachi and/or Lahore.

What do you make of British Airways returning to Pakistan?

Conversations (38)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. KARACHIWALEY Guest

    Credit is living in huge complex every one know what happen to Karachi in all sector from tourist to business from ordinary man to hit profile personality how is doing what from shifting capital to nationalized from ethnic violence to street crime there is office cell organisation to monitor each an every thing on Karachi from biggest country to small from official to other ho moniter there should not done anything good in Karachi in...

    Credit is living in huge complex every one know what happen to Karachi in all sector from tourist to business from ordinary man to hit profile personality how is doing what from shifting capital to nationalized from ethnic violence to street crime there is office cell organisation to monitor each an every thing on Karachi from biggest country to small from official to other ho moniter there should not done anything good in Karachi in all expect of life Pakistan made by a Karachi citizen Karachi made my parsies how give averness to un educated migrated population or living before even how set hair to how to dress how to eat and when come to business how what is a business awareness ethics of business especially hospitality hotel and airline business how order and cut all airlines from karachi and then only those airline give permission ho agree to come to Rawalpindi or Lahore ho make dry port in varies part of panjab ho make pipeline of oil from Karachi to panjab ho make and try to successful stock exchange in Lahore and pindi when not success then change the name of Karachi stock exchange to Pakistan no one nos how karachi road electric water savage infrastructure is and from 94 to 96 plane ethnic problem create in Karachi then all the foreigner ho live business or tourist left Pakistan or Karachi why how make new infrastructure made after 96 of Lahore ho work on it every thing is planed when those are three justice for Karachi is dream or hope or pray you all are main sponser for that

  2. Credit Guest

    Pakistan is the Nigeria of Asia, but there is no way a company like BA would start operations without being sure it was safe for employees, equipment and passengers. Also - this is Islamabad, not Karachi.

  3. LM Guest

    This route would definitely work. People mostly take PIA because of it's nonstop convenience. If BA operates the same route, people will fly them. If people are willing to do 1 stop then they take the Gulf Carriers. That's why the ME3 have so many frequencies to the Indian subcontinent.

    If PIA was like Lufthansa or even BA, then the ME3 would lose many customers. I heard once that like 1/3 of Emirates passengers...

    This route would definitely work. People mostly take PIA because of it's nonstop convenience. If BA operates the same route, people will fly them. If people are willing to do 1 stop then they take the Gulf Carriers. That's why the ME3 have so many frequencies to the Indian subcontinent.

    If PIA was like Lufthansa or even BA, then the ME3 would lose many customers. I heard once that like 1/3 of Emirates passengers are going to or from the Indian Subcontinent. If there are many direct flights though, then the gulf carriers would be significantly smaller.

  4. rc Guest

    the terrorist express now boarding at gate 69....

  5. BA GGL Guest

    I love the way people who've never been to Islamabad (or perhaps not even anywhere in South Asia) have an automatic assumption that it's unsafe. It's actually pretty safe in my experience.

    Statistically over the past few years, you are more likely to have been killed by terrorists in any of Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Orlando, Santa Fe etc than in Islamabad, but I don't see any of the above posters saying "I wouldn't go...

    I love the way people who've never been to Islamabad (or perhaps not even anywhere in South Asia) have an automatic assumption that it's unsafe. It's actually pretty safe in my experience.

    Statistically over the past few years, you are more likely to have been killed by terrorists in any of Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Orlando, Santa Fe etc than in Islamabad, but I don't see any of the above posters saying "I wouldn't go to Vegas".

    [And yes, the full stop is after the inverted commas, because that's how English language grammar works]

  6. WestCoastGuy Guest

    @Mattt: You might be confusing Karachi and Aleppo.

  7. G2 Guest

    Pakistan is much safer than India, where BA flies to multiple cities!!

  8. Sam New Member

    Your Clubworld picture is not of a 787-8 as they are only 3 across in the middle.

  9. Ed Diamond

    I was sent to Lahore for work about 15 years ago. Such a beautiful city and I felt very safe walking around. The food is incredible and the people are lovely.

    PIA economy class on the other hand...

  10. Mattt Member

    @WestCoastGuy ya that's a really good point... the reporting of murders in highly advanced countries is probably observed exactly the same in Karachi, Pakistan. I bet there are no shenanigans played there, and they most certainly are scrutinized to the same level, no doubt for sure case closed. Not even a question that the war-torn, utterly destroyed city is as accountable as the US and all of its oversight and watch organizations.

    Use your...

    @WestCoastGuy ya that's a really good point... the reporting of murders in highly advanced countries is probably observed exactly the same in Karachi, Pakistan. I bet there are no shenanigans played there, and they most certainly are scrutinized to the same level, no doubt for sure case closed. Not even a question that the war-torn, utterly destroyed city is as accountable as the US and all of its oversight and watch organizations.

    Use your brain every once in awhile.

  11. Anon Guest

    Saying Pakistan is as safe as India is nonsense. The Pakistan national cricket team has had to play all of its "home" matches in the UAE for the last decade because Pakistan is too unsafe. (In 2009 terrorists attacked the visiting Sri Lankan team, killing a number of people and injuring 6 Sri Lankan cricketers.)

  12. Claus Guest

    BA787s don’t have the honeymoon center seats as displayed in the picture, but just a single center seat which is actually a quite good seat choice.

  13. Jorge Arbusto Guest

    Saying Pakistan is as safe as India... does not seem like a good thing... I guess you can mix apples and pears

  14. Mick Member

    I’m flying an etihad 777 tomorrow from Ord and I’d take ba any day on the 747 (as long as you can get upstairs and preferably a window seat).

  15. VT-CIE Gold

    Afghanistan is very much a dangerous country, but Pakistan, no. It is as safe as India.

  16. _ar Member

    No one is saying that Karachi is the only dangerous city in the world, but this post was about BA possibly flying into Karachi not the US...

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1363593

  17. Sazizi Guest

    Replying to Matt above, yes you’re absolutely right. Living in Islamabad I can attest to the fact that the security situation has changed by many folds.

    I can easily see the aircraft switching to 77W as demand is absolutely there and many people I know take PIA over Emirates/Etihad/Qatar because of the convenience of a non stop.

  18. Matt Guest

    To say that Islamabad is dangerous is absolute nonsense. I've been living here for eight years with my wife and four small kids and we've never had a single issue. This is a city, and country, of hospitality and kindness. Looking forward to trying this flight after eight years of transferring in the Gulf...

  19. W Guest

    For those talking about staffing, BA has a number of Pakistani Flight Attendants which will most likely operate these flights. Many of them have family there so it's good for them in a way.

  20. JB Guest

    They didn't stop the flight because of economics. It was because of safety.
    They pulled out after the Marriott attack at Islamabad. Though now it it much safer.
    I am a American of Pakistani decent and I go to Pakistan quite often. I recently went in August and the many security checkpoints on the roads were abandoned or dismantled while before there was security everywhere. It's much better than before, though for outsiders...

    They didn't stop the flight because of economics. It was because of safety.
    They pulled out after the Marriott attack at Islamabad. Though now it it much safer.
    I am a American of Pakistani decent and I go to Pakistan quite often. I recently went in August and the many security checkpoints on the roads were abandoned or dismantled while before there was security everywhere. It's much better than before, though for outsiders it may not be too comfortable for them because of their history.

    @James - I wouldn't call this route long and thin. Many Pakistani's fly to London and the U.K.. I wouldn't be surprised to see frequency increased. They most likely will expand into LHE and KHI because those are way bigger markets into LHR.

  21. Atif Guest

    Seriously Islamabad is safe as any major city, if not safer! Considering all the mass shootings we have in the U.S., should tourist and flight crews be afraid to come here?

  22. tda Guest

    I’m waiting for the Partnership for Fair Skies to take credit, since this presumably would take business from the ME3. ;)

  23. adi_t Gold

    Sorry but since when are Karachi and Islamabad among the most dangerous cities in the world?
    In recent years in particular, law and order is quite strong.

    There is a huge Pakistani community not only in London but also all over the UK, so I'm sure the demand to support such a flight is there. Although Qatar and Emirates are essentially the de facto flag carriers of Pakistan the nonstop BA option can...

    Sorry but since when are Karachi and Islamabad among the most dangerous cities in the world?
    In recent years in particular, law and order is quite strong.

    There is a huge Pakistani community not only in London but also all over the UK, so I'm sure the demand to support such a flight is there. Although Qatar and Emirates are essentially the de facto flag carriers of Pakistan the nonstop BA option can be very attractive for those flying to the London area at least. And regardless of what one thinks of BA service, it is a more reliable option than PIA. When I was a kid, they always had at least one or two Urdu speaking flight attendants on the Karachi flights (which were on Tristars!) Those were the days.

    The 788 is probably the right sized plane to start off with but I can easily see this becoming a 77W or 747 if things work out.

  24. Pirooz Member

    @Jack I’m interested to understand your grounds for that statement? BA is definitely far from perfect but everything is relative... I would say that it is better than all three US carriers and a number of European carriers as well.

  25. Jack Member

    Competing against PIA makes crap BA look great by comparison. BA is still a crap airline, notwithstanding Ben's recent brainwashing.

  26. Mark Guest

    Pretty ridiculous that BA cares more about the almighty Pound than the safety of their flight crew. I would be livid if I had to work this flight.

  27. William Guest

    How does crew staffing/rotations work on this? Will they have two-day layovers?

  28. red_robbo Member

    BA's previous withdrawal was also significantly down to concerns for crew safety during their layover in ISB. An en-route stop on the flight to slip the crew and avoid the ISB layover would seriously have affected the economics of the flight.
    Being able to fill a 747 as BA did is irrelevant if the yield isn't there - all the more so now with lower cost alternatives from the ME3 carriers, albeit with a...

    BA's previous withdrawal was also significantly down to concerns for crew safety during their layover in ISB. An en-route stop on the flight to slip the crew and avoid the ISB layover would seriously have affected the economics of the flight.
    Being able to fill a 747 as BA did is irrelevant if the yield isn't there - all the more so now with lower cost alternatives from the ME3 carriers, albeit with a change of flight - and the terrorist attacks of 2008 pretty much put an end to a lot of the high yield business traffic that hitherto existed. Now the 787 offers just the right amount of capacity to restart the route and with careful revenue management it should prove to be very successful for BA.

  29. Maria Guest

    I feel sorry for the BA flight attendants on this route. I wouldn't want to have to stay in one of the most dangerous countries in the world!

  30. Mike Guest

    BA's withdrawal was nothing to do with airport security.

    BA used to fly 6 weekly with B744s to ISB until the Marriott bombing in 2008 in which 58 people were murdered, including 6 British citizens and nearly 300 were injured.

  31. BrewerSEA Gold

    LHR-ISB and UK to Pakistan in general is not really a long and thin route. In 2017 an average of 340 people per day flew LHR-ISB, a 26% increase from 2016. In October 2018 that number had risen to 400 passengers per day.

  32. WestCoastGuy Guest

    @_ar: Errr... Karachi does not appear in the list of the 50 cities in the world with the highest murder rate. In comparison, the US has 5 cities on the list. Go figure.

  33. Nico Guest

    Yep, success for sure!

  34. Mike Guest

    The right aircraft..?

    BA118/119 used to be a B744 and was always, always rammed, both above and below.

  35. Sam Guest

    It's a shame they left Tehran due to the pressure from the US -- that route's cancellation was definitely not because it was underperforming -- I flew the route 6 times and was upgraded 5 out of the 6 times to business class as a blue member (b/c of operational upgrades)

  36. Sam New Member

    It's a shame they left Tehran due to the pressure from the US -- that route's cancellation was definitely not because it was underperforming -- I flew the route 6 times and was upgraded 5 out of the 6 times to business class as a blue member (b/c of operational upgrades)

  37. _ar Member

    BA stopped flying - as did many other airlines - due to the security situation in Pakistan, not the economics of the flight. Have there been changes to Islamabad airport to make it more secure? How many international airlines even fly to Karachi - one of the most violent cities in the world?

  38. Aarif Guest

    As someone with a lot of AA/BA miles who travels to ISB fairly regularly, this would be great news... if it wasn't for BA's ridiculous fees on award travel.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

KARACHIWALEY Guest

Credit is living in huge complex every one know what happen to Karachi in all sector from tourist to business from ordinary man to hit profile personality how is doing what from shifting capital to nationalized from ethnic violence to street crime there is office cell organisation to monitor each an every thing on Karachi from biggest country to small from official to other ho moniter there should not done anything good in Karachi in all expect of life Pakistan made by a Karachi citizen Karachi made my parsies how give averness to un educated migrated population or living before even how set hair to how to dress how to eat and when come to business how what is a business awareness ethics of business especially hospitality hotel and airline business how order and cut all airlines from karachi and then only those airline give permission ho agree to come to Rawalpindi or Lahore ho make dry port in varies part of panjab ho make pipeline of oil from Karachi to panjab ho make and try to successful stock exchange in Lahore and pindi when not success then change the name of Karachi stock exchange to Pakistan no one nos how karachi road electric water savage infrastructure is and from 94 to 96 plane ethnic problem create in Karachi then all the foreigner ho live business or tourist left Pakistan or Karachi why how make new infrastructure made after 96 of Lahore ho work on it every thing is planed when those are three justice for Karachi is dream or hope or pray you all are main sponser for that

0
Credit Guest

Pakistan is the Nigeria of Asia, but there is no way a company like BA would start operations without being sure it was safe for employees, equipment and passengers. Also - this is Islamabad, not Karachi.

0
LM Guest

This route would definitely work. People mostly take PIA because of it's nonstop convenience. If BA operates the same route, people will fly them. If people are willing to do 1 stop then they take the Gulf Carriers. That's why the ME3 have so many frequencies to the Indian subcontinent. If PIA was like Lufthansa or even BA, then the ME3 would lose many customers. I heard once that like 1/3 of Emirates passengers are going to or from the Indian Subcontinent. If there are many direct flights though, then the gulf carriers would be significantly smaller.

0
Meet James, OMAAT Editor
Miles Traveled

Words Written

Posts Published