British Airways to resume Pakistan flights after a decade

In this file photo, an Airbus A320 of British Airways airline takes off from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, near Toulouse, on Oct.19, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2018
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British Airways to resume Pakistan flights after a decade

  • The airline is due to begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service on June 15
  • British High Commissioner to Pakistan said BA’s return was “a reflection of the great improvements” in security

ISLAMABAD: British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan next year after a 10-year absence following a truck bomb attack that killed more than 50 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the carrier and a British official said on Tuesday.
The airline will fly from Heathrow to Islamabad from June 2. It will be the first Western carrier to restart flying to Pakistan, where a new airport in the capital has helped ease congestion and concerns about air travel security, since its pullout in 2008.
“The route will launch as a three-per-week service, operated on a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner – British Airways’ newest long-haul fleet that is 20 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft,” the British High Commission said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said the airline’s return was “a reflection of the great improvements” in security.
“The links between Britain and Pakistan are already extraordinary – from culture and cricket, to people, politics and education. I see this launch as a vote of confidence in the future of those links,” Drew added in a statement.

Robert Williams, Head of Sales for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, said that the route “will be particularly popular with the British Pakistani community who want to visit, or be visited by, their relatives”. “It’s exciting to be flying between Islamabad and Heathrow from next year,” he added.
The airline had a long history of flying to the city and had started its first scheduled flights between London and Islamabad in 1976.
One of the most high-profile attacks in Pakistan’s history took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence that swept across the nuclear-armed South Asian nation. But security has improved, with militant attacks sharply down in the country of 208 million people. In Islamabad, a web of road checkpoints dotted across the city for more than a decade has mostly been dismantled.


China completes outer dome on overseas Hualong One reactor in Pakistan

Pakistani leaders have faced little public discontent over the country's nuclear advances. -Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Updated 31 min 51 sec ago
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China completes outer dome on overseas Hualong One reactor in Pakistan

  • World's first Hualong One reactor is set to go into operation ahead of schedule
  • China is hoping to use its third-generation Hualong One design to boost its presence overseas

SHANGHAI: China has finished building the outer safety dome at its first overseas “Hualong One” nuclear reactor in Pakistan, with the project scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020, the China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) said late Tuesday.
China is hoping to use its third-generation Hualong One design to boost its presence in the overseas nuclear power sector and it is already making plans to build projects in Argentina and Britain.
CNNC described the completion of the double-layered steel dome on the containment building of the Karachi 2 nuclear power plant in Pakistan as a milestone that would help demonstrate China’s Hualong One technology worldwide. The firm is building two Hualong One units at the site.
China developed the Hualong One reactor as a rival to the Westinghouse-developed AP1000 and Europe’s “Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor,” with both models beset by cost overruns and construction delays.
The world’s first Hualong One reactor is set to go into operation ahead of schedule in the southeast Chinese province of Fujian late next year.
CNNC said its four demonstration projects in China and Pakistan are progressing in an orderly manner, noting that they “are the only third-generation pressurised water reactor projects in the world that are being constructed on schedule.”