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British Airways to resume flights to Pakistan 10 years after hotel bombing

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British Airways is to resume flights to Pakistan more than 10 years after a deadly terror attack at the Marriott Hotel in the capital Islamabad.

The airline pulled out of the country in the aftermath of the bomb blast which killed 54 people – including six British citizens – and injured many more in September 2008.

From 2 June, BA will run three flights per week from Heathrow to the new Islamabad International Airport, making it the only Western carrier to serve Pakistan.

The Marriott Hotel was devastated by the suicide attack
Image:
The Marriott Hotel was devastated by the suicide attack

The widely-used Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft has been selected for the journeys, which BA believes will prove popular with the British Pakistani community who want to see relatives.

British high commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew, described the announcement as “excellent news for both countries” and said BA was joining an “increasing number of British companies doing business in Pakistan”.

“The links between Britain and Pakistan are already extraordinary, from culture and cricket to people, politics and education,” he added.

“I see this launch as a vote of confidence in the future of those links, and of course a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan in recent years.

“The return of BA will give a particular boost to our growing trade and investment links.”

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Last year, the Pentagon said that the mastermind behind the 2008 attack had been killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan.

Qari Yasin had ties with the Pakistani Taliban terror group and also formulated an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009, which killed six policemen, two civilians and wounded six of the players.

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