Virgin Atlantic have announced it will be launching flights to Islamabad in Pakistan in December 2020 from Manchester Airport.
These new services will go on sale in September 2020 subject to applicable regulatory approvals, and will boast Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight offering.
Pakistan has the seventh largest diaspora in the world and the new services aim to respond to the large, fast-growing demand to visit friends and relatives (VFR) from customers in the UK and the US, as well as capturing demand for business travel to the region as global economies gradually recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adventurous travellers will enjoy exploring the foothills of the Himalayas outside Islamabad.
As well as flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer a fast, efficient cargo service presenting new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and textiles between prime markets in the UK and US, and Pakistan.
Julian Carr, Aviation Director at Manchester Airport, said: “It’s great to see Virgin Atlantic commence services to Pakistan from Manchester Airport.
“It marks the airline’s commitment to the region, with it being its first eastbound service from Manchester and the North.
“We are sure the route will be incredibly popular with the thousands of passengers across our vast catchment that visit Pakistan either for business, or to visit friends and relatives.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “With travel restrictions remaining in place for many destinations around the world, we’re continually evaluating our network, looking at customer demand and where there are opportunities to launch new services.”
“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. Islamabad is a popular year-round destination and we look forward to welcoming travellers onboard as demand for leisure and business travel gradually increases to the region.”