British Airways ceases Lahore-London operations

LAHORE: British Airways has stopped operating direct flights between Lahore and London Heathrow on completion of the duration of the agreement, it emerged.

The last flight BA-258 left for Heathrow Airport from Allama Iqbal International Airport on Monday at 10:09 am.

The airline will continue to operate flights between Islamabad and London, however.

British Airways resumed flights to the country in 2019, over a decade after they were suspended in the wake of the 2008 truck bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, which killed at least 54 people and wounded 270.

Flights three times a week between London and Islamabad began in June, just ahead of the Eid ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

But UK airlines are now facing higher fuel costs and longer journey times on flights to Asia and beyond after Russia banned British carriers from its airspace.

The move came in swift response to Boris Johnson’s decision to ban Russian national carrier Aeroflot from landing in the UK as part of a range of new sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Virgin Atlantic said the flight ban would increase flight times to Pakistan by up to an hour. The airline had decided from Thursday evening to avoid Russian airspace before Moscow’s edict confirming the ban.

The longer flight paths will affect four Virgin routes, between London Heathrow to Islamabad, Lahore and New Delhi, and between Manchester and Islamabad.

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