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British Airways returns to Islamabad with non-stop flights to London

After an absence of nearly 11 years, British Airways is set to resume non-stop flights from London (LHR) to Islamabad (ISB) on Sunday, June 02, 2019.

The London-Islamabad flight will operate 3 times a week, on British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The route will offer three classes of inflight services: World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World.

British Airways long-haul flights include complimentary food and drink, online check-in and free seat selection 24 hours prior to departure.

Route Days Departure Arrival
London (LHR) to Islamabad (ISB) Tue, Thu, Sun 9:15 PM 9:55 AM
Islamabad (ISB) to London (LHR) Mon, Wed, Fri 11:40 AM 4:00 PM


The London-Islamabad route is set to take advantage of the brand new Islamabad International Airport (ISB), which opened in May 2018. It serves as a primary long-haul international airport for Pakistanis and visitors to Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad and the northernmost areas of the country.

British Airways first began flying to Islamabad from London in 1976. It suspended flights to Pakistan in 2008, citing security and terrorism concerns, after the Marriott hotel bombing in Islamabad.

On September 20, 2008, the Islamabad Marriott hotel was bombed in a terrorist attack. A dump truck filled with 600 kg of explosives was detonated at the front barrier of the hotel. The resulting blast caused a severe gas leak, setting the hotel on fire.
54 people were killed including 46 Pakistanis and 266 people were injured, of whom 245 were Pakistanis and 4 were British.

Preparations have been ongoing at Islamabad International Airport ahead of the inaugural flight. Law enforcement officials have been reviewing security inside as well as outside to ensure safety for passengers and others visiting the airport.

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Islamabad: A tranquil capital seated in natural beauty

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and its 9th largest city. It is a purpose-built capital city which is accessible from all parts of the country, replacing Karachi in 1960. It is known today for its high standards of living, safety and abundant greenery, which have attracted migrants from all over the country, making Islamabad the most cosmopolitan city of Pakistan.

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Islamabad lies in the Margalla Hills, which are foothills of the Himalayas. Its climate is characterized as cool and humid, with plenty of rainfall, producing lush green and tranquil wilderness. The many hiking and biking trails in the Margallas are a favourite for local and foreign adventurers alike.

Islamabad was built adjacent to Rawalpindi to its north. Both cities are socially and economically intertwined. During the British Raj, Rawalpindi was a major center of its military power. It was developed from a small town to a military cantonment and a centre of commerce in north India. Today, it is the fourth largest city in Pakistan and serves as the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army.

The Economy of the Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metropolitan area is largely service based. While a majority of people are employed in the federal government, many software and technology companies have set up offices in science parks developed for that purpose. State-owned entities such as Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Television Corporation, Pakistan Telecom and the Oil and Gas Development Corporation area headquartered in Islamabad.

Tahsin Shah [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Islamabad and Rawalpindi are served by Islamabad International Airport (ISB) which opened in May 2018. It replaced the now-closed Benazir Bhutto International Airport, in order to accommodate increasing air traffic and passenger load.

Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metropolitan area boasts an active nightlife centred around restaurants and stalls serving the best tasting Pakistani foods. Many international fast food chains are also found, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, but eating there is seen as a status symbol rather than affordable convenience.

Most hotels catering to visitors are found Islamabad. It is best to stick to establishments that are mid-range and above, due to concerns of safety and cleanliness.
Islamabad has well-known hotel chains such as Crown Plaza, Ramada and Marriott.

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London: A vibrant and noisy centre of global finance and commerce

London is one of the most global cities in the world. It is deeply connected to the world economy and is considered an international capital of culture, music, education, fashion, politics and commerce. This makes London one of the most desired city to visit internationally.

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London was founded over 2000 years ago. It exchanged hands from the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings and the Normans. It has been a centre of trade and commerce for more than 1500 years. The London Stock Exchange was founded around 450 years ago. It is the oldest stock exchange in the world and the third largest after New York and NASDAQ.

London has a diverse range of people and cultures. More than 300 languages are spoken here. More than 36% of Londoners are foreign-born. London's restaurants accommodate to every kind of budget and tastes. You can find dishes from almost every part of the world, with some on par or if not, even better than their countries of origin.

As one of the world's leading tourism destinations, London has no shortage of sites to see. One of the most notable attractions is the London Eye - a 135-metre Ferris wheel that gives you a magnificent areal view of the city. London's most famous attractions include The Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and much much more.

Kirat rai at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

London's Airports

When it comes to flying, London is the most served destination in the world. More than 170 million passengers fly through London’s six airports every year.

London is served by six airports which surround the city in all directions. Before you book your flight, you will need to find out where your chosen flight will land or take off from, and your options for getting to and from that airport. Read my post describing London’s six major airports that serve many different airlines and destinations.

Hotels in London

There is no shortage of the kinds of accommodation London has to offer depending on your budget. Your choice of the hotel also depends on whether you need quick access to certain airports or business areas or attractions. Hotel rates in London are notoriously expensive. Hotel prices are often linked to their proximity to a tube or railway station with a fast link to Central London.

Hotel rates in London can also be expensive during the week, as it relies heavily on the business market but prices often drop over the weekend. Many hotel chains offer substantial discounts if you book well in advance, but you have to pay the full amount upfront at the time of booking and there are no refunds if you cancel.

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About British Airways

British Airways is part of the International Airlines Group, which also holds Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling. It is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. It is the largest airline in the United Kingdom in terms of fleet size, international flights, and international destinations.

Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the main base for British Airways where it owns 40% of slots. It has a major presence at Gatwick Airport (LGW) as well as London City Airport (LCY) where it operates as BA CityFlyer.

Within the UK and Europe, British Airways offers two classes of inflight services: Economy and Business Class, which is branded as "Club Europe".
On Mid-haul and Long Haul Flights, British Airways offers four classes of inflight services: World Traveller (Economy), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), Club World (Business) and First Class.

British Airways flies over 45 million passengers a year to over 180 destinations worldwide in a fleet of 293 aircraft. It has an annual turnover of £12.5 billion a year with a profit of £1.9 billion. Its most popular route is London Heathrow (LHR) to New York JFK which generates the airline over $1 billion a year alone.

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