GILGIT: Regular international flights between Skardu and Dubai will commence on Monday, with two weekly flights operating on Monday and Friday.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate these flights, with the first departure from Skardu to Dubai on April 29 and the first arrival on May 4.

The move to start regular weekly flights has come after the milestone of last year when a total of 11 flights were operated between Skardu and Dubai on different occasions.

The Skardu airport, declared ‘international’ by former prime minister Imran Khan in December 2021, is the only airport in northern Pakistan capable of accommodating larger airplanes.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Faisal Niaz Tirmizi confirmed to Dawn that PIA has been requested to initiate regular flights between Skardu and Dubai.

The improved accessibility is expected to attract more visitors to Skardu and its surrounding areas, known for their stunning landscapes and natural beauty.

GB Minister for Plan­n­ing and Development Raja Nasir Ali Khan met PIA’s chief commercial officer Nausherwan Adil to discuss strategies for enhancing air connectivity and promoting tourism.

They agreed to increase flight frequencies from Dubai to Skardu and launch direct special flig­hts from Skardu to Najaf and Damascus for pilgrims, the minister told Dawn.

In the meeting, he said, they also discussed initiating direct Hajj and Umrah flights from Skardu airport, which would benefit local residents and promote international tourism, positively impacting the local economy.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2024

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