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PIA plans to resume Swat flights

October 11, 2012

A Pakistani army soldier stands guard in front of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) after it flew a test flight to Saidu Sharif in Swat Valley on October 10, 2012. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan International Airlines resumed its flights to Swat on Wednesday after suspension of over five years.

The PIA’s ATR propeller aircraft touched down at the Saidu Sharif runway early in the morning.

“The flight used to be very popular with trekkers and adventure seekers and especially honeymooners,” said Captain Inamullah Jan who landed the plane to the Saidu Sharif. He used to fly Fokker and other planes to Northern Areas, Gilgit and Chitral and Swat valley before operations were closed.

Talking to journalists, PIA Managing Director Captain Junaid Yunus expressed the hope that the airline would achieve operational profits within a few months.

“We are restoring twice a week flights to Saidu Sharif and will announce the

schedule on Oct 28. This test flight has been conducted to ensure that operations go well. Normalcy has returned to Swat and we are looking for significant tourist traffic to one of the most attractive tourist destinations of the country in future,” said Captain Junaid Yunus.