ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) resumed direct flights to Mashhad, Iran, after a five-year gap in a bid to develop people-to-people contacts and boost religious tourism with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The development reportedly came as a result of “serious efforts by the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad” for the facilitation of air travel between the two countries.
The announcement for the beginning of PIA’s direct flight operations from Lahore to Mashhad was made by the airline’s Chief Executive Officer during a meeting with the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a press statement by the IRNA read.
The publication quoted PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Khan as saying that the first flight departed from Lahore to Mashhad Wednesday at 11:19 pm.
The Pakistani flag carrier was scheduled to fly back to Lahore today at 2:30 am and arrive at Allama Iqbal International Airport at 6:30 am.
Moreover, Amb Hosseini tweeted that two countries have agreed to promote air cooperation among them and the national airline of Pakistan will begin aviation services from Karachi to Mashhad on January 1, 2022.
According to IRNA, Iran Air currently operates one flight a week from Tehan to Karachi and back but another Iranian airline, Mahan Iran Airlines will reportedly start operations from both Tehran and Mashhad to Lahore.