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Glasgow airport announces direct flights to Pakistan


Glasgow Airport announced today that it has secured Scotland's first direct flights to Pakistan. Two years after it first proposed the route, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will next month start weekly flights between Glasgow and both Lahore and Islamabad.

The twice-weekly service (once to Lahore, once to Islamabad) will be a huge boost to Glasgow's reputation as Scotland's long-haul gateway. The new routes will also provide Scotland's Pakistani community with their easiest way of visiting friends and family.

Glasgow Airport managing director Stephen Baxter said: 'This is great news for Glasgow and for Scotland. The cultural and business opportunities associated with a direct link to Pakistan are huge and this service from Glasgow strengthens Scotland's international standing.'

Tariq Bukhari, the airline's general manager in Britain, said: 'This is a milestone for Scotland and our airline. We look forward to developing a real presence in Glasgow.'

The new flights to Lahore via Dubai will leave Glasgow at 18:45 every Wednesday, arriving in Pakistan the next day. The in-bound Wednesday flight will leave Lahore at 00:45, arriving at Glasgow at 17:00.

The service to Islamabad via Dubai, will leave Glasgow at 21:30 every Saturday, arriving in Pakistan at 14:15 on the Sunday. The inbound Saturday flight will leave Islamabad at 12:15, arriving in Glasgow at 19:45.

PIA's new flights will come as a direct rival to Emirates, which flies daily from Glasgow to Dubai and onwards to south and east Asia and Australasia. The PIA planes will even stop in Dubai, offering the chance of cut-price visits to the Gulf state and its booming tourist centres.

PIA has still to work out fares but they are likely to be around £350 return to Islamabad. Glasgow Airport has confirmed flights would begin on November 16.

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