Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will suspend services between London and Pakistan later this year.
The move, which affects services from Heathrow airport to the cities of Islamabad and Lahore, follows the carrier’s recent suspension of routes from Manchester airport to Islamabad.
The final flight dates are as follows:
- LHR-LHE VS364 departs April 30, 2023 at 2155
- LHE-LHR VS365 departs May 1, 2023 at 1225
- LHR-ISB VS378 departs July 8, 2023 at 2155
- ISB-LHR VS379 departs July 9, 2023 at 1240
Customers due to fly after these dates will be contacted by the airline and offered the option to rebook “where applicable” or given a full refund.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said:
“As we continue to ramp up our flying programme in 2023, we’ve taken the opportunity to review our entire network and decided to make a few changes.”
Virgin says that the routes were launched to “capture the visiting friends and relatives market which was one of the first sectors to recover” during the pandemic.
The airline’s spokesperson added:
“Since commencing operations in December 2020, we have been proud to offer choice for customers travelling 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 apologise 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 announced last week that it would resume daily flights to Shanghai from May 1, which is an important relaunch for the airline given its imminent membership of Skyteam.
The carrier is also set to launch flights to the Maldives and Turks and Caicos in autumn 2023, while also doubling capacity to Tel Aviv this summer.
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Business Traveller recently travelled with Virgin Atlantic to celebrate the airline’s resumption of its winter service to Cape Town, and spoke with chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen on the trip.