British airline Virgin Atlantic operated its inaugural flight to Islamabad from Manchester, United Kingdom. The inaugural flight carried 208 passengers from Manchester and took 67 passengers on its return leg. The inaugural flight took off 31 minutes late and arrived 34 minutes late. The return flight VS363 took off one hour 25 minutes late from its scheduled time and recovered quite a lot of it during the flight and arrived 25 minutes late.
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The new flights to Pakistan will add over 66 direct flights to Pakistan each month, expanding the direct UK to Pakistan market by 90 per cent in December alone. The airline earlier operated a cargo flight VS364 on 8 December using aircraft 787-9 registration G-VNEW.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority gave approval to Virgin to start its flight operation on 7 December 2020. Virgin Atlantic will be flying to Islamabad and Lahore with their Airbus A330-200s. But for its inaugural flight VS362, the airline used its 5 years old Boeing 787-900 G-VOWS. The aircraft has 31 seats in Business class, 35 in Premium Economy and 198 in economy class. In the beginning, the airline will be operating weekly eight-flight operation to the two cities.
According to the schedule approved by the PCAA, the first passenger Virgin Atlantic flight VS365 will take off from London on Dec 13 and land at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Dec 14 in the morning. Virgin will be operating four weekly flights between London and Lahore and three weekly flights between London and Islamabad. Before starting its flight operation to Pakistan, Virgin Atlantic will operate a cargo flight VS364 from England to Pakistan on Dec 7. The airline plans to introduce flights from both Manchester and London. Initially Virgin announced that it plans to operate flights on London-Lahore, London-Islamabad and Manchester-Islamabad routes.