Virgin Atlantic Airways will this summer end flights to Pakistan that the UK carrier began operating during the pandemic.

The airline will end its London Heathrow-Lahore service at the start of May, while its London-Islamabad flight will cease on 9 July.

Airport British Airways

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Virgin launched flights from Manchester and Heathrow to Pakistan in December 2020, as the airline’s US-focussed network remained heavily disrupted by pandemic restrictions.

But the airline has steadily rebuilt its transatlantic programme, adding routes to Austin and Tampa. It also plans to restore its London-Shanghai service from May, following China’s easing of Covid restrictions. 

”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,” the airline says.

“Following this review, it is with regret that we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our services between London Heathrow and Pakistan. 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.”

The airline suspended its Manchester service to Islamabad this winter.

Virgin, which is set to shortly join the SkyTeam alliance, has also outlined plans to serve the Maldives and Turks and Caicos later this year.

British Airways also launched a Lahore service from Heathrow after the pandemic, but ended the route last year. The Oneworld carrier also serves Islamabad from Heathrow.