A passenger aircraft operated by British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG), passes a telegraph pole as it prepares to land at Heathrow airport, in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

British Airways to Restart Pakistan Flights as Security Improves

(Bloomberg) -- British Airways will restart direct flights from London Heathrow airport to Islamabad from June after halting them a decade ago as security in Pakistan deteriorated.

The reopening of the route by the airline owned by IAG SA is “a reflection of the great improvements in the security situation in Pakistan in recent years,” Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said Tuesday on Twitter.

Militant violence across Pakistan has drastically declined in recent years since the army decimated insurgent groups that launched domestic attacks across the country. The renewed security drive came after more than 100 children were killed by the Pakistani Taliban in a 2014 school massacre in the northern city of Peshawar, prompting widespread horror and outrage.

British Airways to Restart Pakistan Flights as Security Improves

Pakistan has been keen to play up its improved safety image in a bid to lure investors as the economy buckles under a balance-of-payments crisis and as the government negotiates its 13th International Monetary Fund bailout since the late 1980s.

“The dividends of decades long struggle of Pakistani nation and its security forces for restoration of peace and stability in the country are on the way,” military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter while thanking British Airways.

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