Privately-owned Pakistani carrier Air Blue is to launch a four times-weekly non-stop service between Manchester and Islamabad from November 27.
The airline currently operates a one-stop service between the two cities, with its Airbus A320 aircraft refuelling in Istanbul.
But Air Blue is leasing larger A340 aircraft, which will enable it to offer a non-stop service from the end of November.
According to the carrier’s online reservation system, flight PA220 will depart Islamabad on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1400, arriving into Manchester at 1900, with the return leg PA221 leaving at 2100, arriving into Pakistan’s capital at 1110 the following morning.
State-owned carrier Pakistan International Airlines currently flies between Islamabad and Manchester using B777 aircraft.
Reports in Pakistani newspaper The Nation have suggested this route is being dropped on October 26, although Business Traveller has been unable to confirm this, and The Business Recorder has quoted a PIA spokesperson refuting such a move. The carrier’s online reservations system continues to show non-stop services past this date.
Report by Mark Caswell