LONDON – Pakistan International Airlines (PK) has announced it is going to partially resume services to the United Kingdom.

Services will commence from August 14, using Airbus A330 aircraft from HiFly.

With 300 seat capacity, services to Manchester, Birmingham and London Heathrow will all operate using the aircraft.

First Flights Back

The first service will be PK9702, which will depart Manchester and head to Islamabad.

According to Gulf Today, the flight will depart with 250 people on board.

Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez commented on this move, stating that it is due to increases in demand.

“PIA has hired a plane and Crew from a European company to operate flights using PIA call sign and slots”.

“Due to public demand, the national flag carrier is resuming its flights.”

Just Repatriation Flights?

The airline has chartered HiFly over the last couple of weeks to implement repatriation flights for those stranded abroad.

CS-TKY, one of the A330neo in question, will be used on these services. On offer will be 18 seats in Business Class and 353 seats in Economy.

The Boeing 777 aircraft are used for the UK service on a pre-suspension basis. Information surrounding scheduling is also unclear, hinting more towards the services being repatriation-based only.

Photo: Hiro Nishikura

Regaining Trust in Europe

The flights will be a stepping stone in trying to regain the trust of those in Europe.

This ultimately comes following the deadly PK8303 crash that happened in Karachi two months ago.

Following the aftermath of the crash, it had emerged that 40% of pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses.

Actions taken by the Pakistani Government involved the suspension of those Pilots from the flag carrier.

It remains clear that for PK, this is a big step to take. All eyes will be on the airline to ensure this succeeds.

Other motions such as social distancing and passenger welfare must remain a first. For now, we shall wait and see.

Featured Image: Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200. Photo Credit: Nick van der Hook