British Airline Virgin Atlantic has announced today that it will be suspending services between London Heathrow and Lahore and Islamabad. Last year in October the airline boosted to double down on its operations to Pakistan. It also claimed that after two years of successful operations in Pakistan, it will be expanding operations in the country. It seems the decision stems from the recent incidents of law and order as well as the currency crises the country is facing.
Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “As we continue to ramp up our flying program in 2023, we’ve taken the opportunity to review our entire network and decided to make a few changes.”
“Following this review, it is with regret that we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our services between London Heathrow and Pakistan. Since commencing operations in December 2020, we have been proud to offer choices for customers traveling between London and Manchester in the UK, and Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. During that time, we have also provided important cargo capacity, as well as delivering vital medical supplies.”
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we’d like to apologize for any inconvenience caused. We would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone in Pakistan; our customers, teams, partners, and the authorities for their support over the past two years.”
Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate services between London and Lahore until 1st May and between London and Islamabad until 9th July. Virgin is set to join the SkyTeam alliance in early 2023 and will be the only British airline in the alliance as it seeks to enhance group services to and from London Heathrow and Manchester. Its decision to boost flights to and from Pakistan is likely based on the same rationale and can be even seen as complementary to it.