ICCI: (Turkish Airlines planning to launch direct flights from Islamabad to Baku twice a week)

ISLAMABAD: Turkish Airlines is planning to launch direct flights from Islamabad to Baku twice a week by the end of September 2015 and all necessary preparations for this purpose are being finalized, observed Mr. Yunus MERT, General Manager, Turkish Airline during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here on Thursday.

He said Turkish Airlines has already started daily flights for Islamabad and Lahore and now it was planning to connect Pakistan with Central Asia by launching twice a week flights from Islamabad to Baku. It shows the commitment of Turkish Airlines to serve the people of Pakistan and contribute to bring two brother countries further closer.

He said with the start of daily flights from Turkey to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistani travellers now have the option to travel to 180 destinations throughout the world being covered by Turkish Airlines at competitive rates.

He said according to Skytrax survey of 2015, Turkish Airlines was chosen “Europe’s Best Airline” for the fifth and “Best Airline in Southern Europe” for the seventh consecutive time, which showed its impressive performance. He said Turkish Airlines have signed agreements with global companies and would like to sign MoU with ICCI to facilitate its members in air travel.

In his welcome address, ICCI president Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, welcomed the plan of Turkish Airlines to start twice a week flights from Islamabad to Baku and added that direct air link between Islamabad and Baku will help in promoting Pakistan’s trade and exports with Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries.

He said Turkish Airlines should offer a customized package of discounted rates to ICCI members that will facilitate them in exploring trade opportunities in various countries. He was of the view that daily flights from Turkey to three major cities of Pakistan would help in promoting people to people contacts and further improving bilateral trade between the two countries.

He said Pakistan and Turkey had agreed to upgrade a railway link from Islamabad to Istanbul via Tehran to provide speedy cargo service from Pakistan to Turkey and ultimately to Europe.

He said both countries should expedite this project as it will play bigger role in improving Pakistan’s trade and economic ties with brotherly Muslim countries and to Europe as well.