As part of the plan to boost tourism in Pakistan, Airblue kicked off its service to the heart of the North of Pakistan, Skardu. On their inaugural flight, they invited many journalists, bloggers and social media influencers as well as their own top brass to review their product.
The check-in was smooth and quick and the staff was very helpful. The counters were given a cultural touch of Gilgit Baltistan. Our aircraft for the flight was this 8.5-year-old Airbus A320 that was directly bought by Airblue from Airbus. Airblue has always been famous to maintain the youngest aircraft fleet in Pakistan, the record they still hold to date.
I was issued the aisle seat of the Emergency exit row, hence the extra legroom. Before takeoff, each passenger was given a goody bag that contained a traditional Balti hat to promote the culture of Gilgit Baltistan.
The flight was pushed back pretty much on time and the load for this flight was around 95%. Soon after departure, the meal service commenced. During the first leg, we were offered Chicken Tikka Croissant with Banana Cake and mango juice to go with it. After the meal service, a lucky draw was announced for 5 lucky winners that would win customized Airblue merchandise.
During this short 45-minute flight, we got to see many of the world-famous mountain peaks, including Nanga Parbat which translates into “Naked Beauty”.
The Captain announced that we are ready to descend into Skardu. The approach to Skardu was very mesmerizing as we flew in between the valleys and made our approach. The landing was very smooth. Soon after we disembarked the aircraft and a group photo was taken with the scenic Skardu landscape and the air blue aircraft. The guests were very happy and enjoyed this view. Approximately 45 minutes later we boarded our aircraft to fly back to Islamabad. Upon boarding, we were handed another goodie bag that contained customized air blue merchandise.
The departure out of Skardu was absolutely breathtaking as we flew in between low-level clouds and the mountains. Light turbulence was observed soon after takeoff which was nothing out of the ordinary. We were given a pack of dry fruits as a light snack which was followed by club sandwiches And tarts for dessert. The load on the return leg was comparatively lower than the first leg. Great cloud surfing was observed by the passengers. We landed Back in Islamabad around 12:15 PM in the afternoon. The landing was once again pretty smooth.
Being an Aviation enthusiast like I am, I requested the cabin crew to ask the captain for permission for a cockpit visit. The captain was very friendly and invited me into the cockpit however I was not allowed to take photos for security reasons.
All in all this experience was very pleasant the crew was very friendly and caring the aircraft was very clean and tidy anyone flying two or from Skardu should definitely choose Airblue.