Direct and Indirect Flights to Pakistan :
- Emirates Airlines is the probably the first choice for deluxe indirect flights to Pakistan via Dubai.
- Turkish Airlines has indirect flights from the UK to Pakistan along various popular routes but obviously involving Istanbul as the stopover.
- Qatar Airways is another competitor for flights to Pakistan with enough coverage to include indirect routes from different airports in the UK, via Doha, to different target destinations in Pakistan.
- Etihad Airways also has its routes set for flights from the UK to Pakistan, again with a range of departing and arrival cities to choose from. Abu Dhabi is unquestionably the stopover with Etihad Airways.
- Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national flag carrier of Pakistan, is the only airline that has direct flights to and from the United Kingdom. Fortunately, this affordable airline operates many other UK to Pakistan itineraries- all of them connecting flights.
- Budget-friendly and high merit, Oman Air is yet another in a list of airlines that deliver what they promise...cheap flights to Pakistan from the UK.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines is one more economical alternative that offers connecting flights to Pakistan via Jeddah
- Gulf Air has flights from the United Kingdom to Pakistan with a predictable stopover at the airline’s own hub- Bahrain.
- With its layover in Kuwait City, Kuwait Airways is one of the leading Middle-Eastern Airlines to carry passengers to Pakistan from the United Kingdom.
Average Flight Durations from UK to Pakistan with Different Airlines:
- Connecting flights with Turkish Airlines reach Pakistan from the United Kingdom in a minimum time frame of 11 hours and 40 minutes.
- Qatar Airways, operating indirectly, takes roughly about 11 hours and 30 minutes for a UK to Pakistan journey, capital to capital.
- On a connecting flight with Etihad Airways, a 13 hours and15 minutes stretch is the least it takes for a carrier to complete its UK to Pakistan journey.
- How time does fly on a non-stop flight with PIA that takes approx. 8 hours to reach Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad. As mentioned above, PIA has under its jurisdiction and management a number of indirect flights from UK to Pakistan of which the least time consuming is 12 hours and 50 minutes long.
- Flights with Saudi Arabian Airlines departing from the United Kingdom reach Pakistan along several routes. 12 hours and 35 minutes is the shortest time period and that’s inclusive of the time spent at stopover.
What is the Weekly Flight Schedule of Airlines Flying to Pakistan?
It isn’t until Qatar Airways conducts an average of 64 flights that the airline calls it a week, thus claiming the top position among major operators for Pakistan flights. Other mainstream airlines are Turkish Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines and Etihad Airways perfecting their elaborate weekly routines with an average of 46, 30 and 18 flights respectively. PIA operates the only 4 direct flights from UK to Pakistan in one week; three PK-786 flights and one PK-788. Saudi Arabian Airlines has carriers typically flying 16 times a week, sharing the burden of a booming increase in passengers to the country.
What is the Free Baggage Allowance on Flights to Pakistan from Major UK Airports?
- As dedicated to standardization as to care taking, Turkish Airlines sets the limit for luggage allowance as 20 kilograms for Economy Class and 30 kilograms for Business Class.
- A regular Economy Class traveller will only be allowed to bring 30 kilograms of luggage for free with Qatar Airways. The limit for Business Class must not exceed 40 kilograms.
- It will be 2 pieces of 23 kilograms each for those travelling with Etihad Airways on an Economy Class. Business Class predictably has additional amenities and that’s true for baggage allowance, which will be 2 bags of 32 kilograms each.
- PIA offers more baggage if your ticket is issued in the UK. It gives you 2 bags of 27.5 kilograms (55KG) on Economy Class. Issuing ticket in Pakistan usually gives you less baggage of 28 kilograms only. Business class luggage is a generous 2 pieces of 28 kilograms each. Sometimes a seasonal promotion with double baggage is offered for Eid festivals.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines, to be sure, allows 1 piece of 25 kilograms per passenger on an Economy Class whereas 2 pieces of 25 kilograms each are allowed for passengers of Business Class.
Receiving Airports for Inbound Pakistan Flights from the UK:
- The largest of Pakistani airports also happens to be the most representative; the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi professionally manages and facilitates high-speed air traffic with the least bit of hassle, going so far as conducting 48,837 flights in 2014-15 alone. The airport has one major terminal which branches off into two sub-terminals: one for regional and the other for international flights. The International Air Transport Association codes it KHI.
- A generally uninterrupted exchange across three different terminals streamlines and speeds up traffic at Allama Iqbal International Airport, an immediate neighbour to downtown Lahore. Largest and busiest after the abovementioned aviation authority in Karachi, this airport is not only a hub for international flights but also has a special Hajj Terminal for those concerned. Linking continental flights with numerous other destinations within Pakistan, the airport operates quite a number of small-seater aircraft that take interested tourists to those exotic destinations that bigger aircraft cannot reach. Obviously it would be expedient to remember that LHE is the IATA code for this airport.
- The arrival and departure airport for both regional and international flights in the capital is Benazir Bhutto International Airport; technically not in Islamabad, but a 20 minute drive from the zero-point. This single-terminal airport is the largest after Jinnah International Airport and Allama Iqbal International Airport. A recent tally reveals that it has an operational capacity of 34,000 flights and prospects are brighter still now that the structural upgrade has finally been completed in 2015. ISB is the IATA code for this airport.
Where to go and what to do if you are a tourist and looking for places to see and things to do in Pakistan?
Since the previous decade, northern regions like Gilgit, Swat, Kaghan, Naran and Babusar, have become increasingly instrumental in bringing renaissance to Pakistani tourism; thanks to an improved road network, electricity, running water and banking facilities, even geographical stalemates like the Khunjerab Pass and China-Pakistan border can be accessed like never before. The Himalayas and Karakoram ranges meet and overlap one another at several points but nowhere more prominently than where K2 stands tall. Speaking of the Himalayas, Nanga Parbat is one of the most intimidating mountains in the world and yet we know so little about his Majesty.
Diverse as it is, peaks and mountains are not the only sites that tourists have in their sights; their viewfinders thirst for archaeological and architectural wonders native and relevant to the civilization. In Punjab alone, Taxila preserves multiple sites of ruins as well as statues from the Buddhist era. Moving forward to the ages of the great Mughal Empire, notable kings have left behind shrines, mosques and gardens across southern Punjab, with Lahore and Multan having some of the best historical edifices in the country such as the Badshahi Mosque and Shahi Qilla. Those of a more recreational persuasion find their route along the footpaths of Shalimar Garden, Oasis Golf and Aqua Resort and Sozo Water Park- three of Lahore’s more famous tourist traps. Industrial cities like Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot are great places to shop wholesale for fabrics since they form the textile hub for exports.
Not necessarily a locality with striking modern imagery, Thatta (in Sind) is a city for archaeological and anthropological enthusiasts. If lucky, which they often are, tourists can catch a camel caravan on the move later in the day, even if they miss out on the morning train. But perhaps the best of archaeological sites is the ever famous Mohenjo-daro. There is enough ground to cover for a complete field journal and the network of nomadic tribes often becomes a secondary diversion for photojournalists.
The nation’s former capital, Karachi, dubbed as the ‘city of lights’, conjures up images of a modern South Asian metropolis, which it is, and is still in the midst of what some would say, a paradigm shift. Sunbathers and swimmers visit Karachi for a completely understandable ‘beach-fix’. Apart from boating and surfing adventures, camel rides are unique to Karachi beaches, in particular the Clifton Beach. Paradise Point and French Beach are other options to consider but nudists beware; Pakistani beaches have their own codes of conduct, as in other things, for which tourists ought to stay mindful of what they read in Pakistan’s travel advisory. If escorted by a tour guide, tourists can get the most out of mainland Karachi by paying visits to Frere Hall, Mohatta Palace, Jinnah Mausoleum, Karachi Safari Park and National Museum of Pakistan.
But it is the capital, Islamabad, where foreigners see transformation in actual progress. The Centaurus Complex and Safa Gold Mall are recent additions that have raised the status of the capital as a successful shopping district and stopover. Architectural wonders include the Faisal Mosque and the Pakistan Monument. This valley has both hilly and aquatic attractions and the truth is, tourists need both. Save the best hours for Rawal Lake and its adjacent Lake View Park. No longer limited to hikers and trekkers alone, the Capital Development Authority has made it possible for families to visit Islamabad Zoo and from there, hike across the Margalla Hills and take regular breaks at different cafés and restaurants in Daman-e-Koh and Pir Suhawa.
When exactly is the Best Time to Visit Pakistan as a Tourist:
To know that, we would have to anticipate…climate itself! One hardly knows when exactly. If the decision is prompted by the lure of mountains and valleys, the best time to visit the Naran Valley is July and August. The same goes for Kaghan and Shogran. Gilgit-Baltistan is even more mountainous and summer, in particular the May-July stretch, is ideal for fans of extreme sports.
Navigating through deserts is just as thrilling as the training of the individual or group commencing that exploration. Mud, and sometimes quicksand, can make hard travelling even harder. Visit Thatta and Mohenjo-daro in winter months e.g. December and January. Avoid June if at all possible.
Visiting Lahore in summer (May and June) is a venture unapologetically high stakes. The temperature rises to an average of 40 ⁰C so brace yourself for an excruciating summer tan! Islamabad can be visited any time of the year owing to frequent rainfalls and generally lush vegetation.
What are some of the Annual Festivals and Celebrations in Pakistan?
Fleeing cities for colder climates and higher altitudes, those visiting Gilgit-Baltistan anywhere between late June and earlier August will bear witness to the enthusiasm these locals show in performing events like the Shandur Polo Festival in July, Silk Route Festival and Babusar Cup Polo Tournament in August. Throughout Pakistan, the Independence Day in August and Pakistan Day in March are celebrated in the true patriotic spirit. The latter involves an air show and a military march-past in the capital. Religious festivals are plentiful but Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha are two of the widely celebrated religious events. On a rather solemn note, Muharram is another event that foreigners are curious about; the choreographed rituals themselves and the voice of minority above all else catches an outsider’s attention. Off and on, there remains in motion a sequence of floral, literary and film festivals that tourists can keep themselves up to date for. For many, this may not be their first visit to Pakistan and especially those on a diplomatic mission will be invited to birthday parties and wedding banquets of their hosts in the region.
What are the Hotel and Accommodation Options in Pakistan?
Of course many hotels would not make our list but Islamabad has a cluster of top-notch hotels, guest houses, bed & breakfasts and even cheap hostels serving the needs of an ever-increasing influx of foreigners. The Centaurus Complex is still undergoing significant development so Serena Hotel, Marriott Hotel and Islamabad Hotel are obviously the best choices so far. Generous portion sizes, quality buffets, spa facilities, gymnasiums and a list of assorted activities define lodging in any of the three above mentioned, notably the Serena Hotel.
Side by side, both the Monal Restaurant and La Montana Restaurant are first-rate options for commuters across Margalla Hills.
The outdoor seating arrangement allows for a panoramic view of the green city from the restaurant’s balcony as sunset paints the sky in colourful hues. The capital city has its people preferring a quiet crowd, which is why its top restaurants are the Highland Country Club, La Terrazza, Pizza Hut and Tehzeeb Bakers; the last one being the best place for pizza and other delicacies. Get your serving of the local culture at Des Pardes: a restaurant true to the Pakistani traditions as can be seen from the interior layout and tasted from the morsels. The rest is covered by local solutions, ordering practices, ice-cream bars, takeaways and even open air cooking in Lake View Park. Nightlife is lifeless without quality booze. Murree Brewery makes sure foreigners get their fill of whiskey, brandy or just some beer.
Speaking of Murree, the nearby Murree Hills are frequented by those staying in Islamabad but lodging facilities are poor, even compared to local standards. Environmental restoration gives both nature and tourism a second chance at Bhurban now that Pearl Continental Hotel acknowledges global standards of hospitality and encourages others to follow its example.
Lahore is regarded as the hub of the culinary industry based across Pakistan. Main M.M Alam road has the most number of famous restaurants including the likes of Café Zouk, Café Aylanto and Salt’n Pepper, all of which are established brands catering for intercontinental cuisine. Special mentions like Cuckoo’s Den and the Polo Lounge also make it for featuring Lahore’s arts and sports.
Those arriving in the country by way of its main megalopolis city, Karachi, have their fill of its main restaurants facing the beachside, with the Kolachi at Do Darya serving guests with seafood and continental dishes. Café Flo, the Elbow Room and BBQ night appeal the masses with the very best of Pakistani cuisine. Other special mentions include Okra, Pompeii and Orrery for Mediterranean, Italian and Spanish themes.
Both Pearl Continental and Avari are leading chains in Pakistan and are highly recommended to tourists meditating a stay in either Lahore or Karachi. Marriot Hotel and Moevenpick Hotel offer cost-effective alternatives in Karachi. With their cosmetically beautiful interiors and an overall anti-septic environment, the experience can never be underwhelming.
Exertion is the age-old method for boosting consumption and those trekking in the northern areas are sure to find the trip pretty exacting. Fatigue sets in, at which point a hut, bed & breakfast or even a cheap hotel comes off as a good consolation prize. And excursionists are sure to stumble upon different chains of lodging facilities across the horizon.
Is There any Car Hire Facility in Pakistan – to & fro the Airport?
Here you get some answers concerning transport choices after you've touched down in Pakistan. If you prefer a car hire (with or without a chauffeur) you can call in now and talk to our expert consultant at +44 203 371 7389 or get more info from Amg Car Rental who are a reliable merchant as per our client’s feedback.
Whichever airport you touch base at (there are five noteworthy universal air terminals: Jinnah international in Karachi (KHI), Allama Iqbal international in Lahore (LHE), Islamabad/Benazir Bhutto international (ISB), Quetta international (UET), and Bacha khan international (Peshawar), there are a lot of choices in car hire to get you where you need to be. Authorized taxis will hold up outside exit terminals at all of the airports 24 hours a day. Auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks) are comparatively cheaper alternatives for commuting within cities. Check if altered rates are in operation or mutually agree on a cost/fare with your driver before you travel.
By Z A Chahal
Flight destinations in Pakistan
Airlines that fly to Pakistan
FAQs about Pakistan
How many direct flights Pakistan International Airlines is operating from UK to different airports in Pakistan?
PIA operates 10 direct flights to Pakistan from London Heathrow on a weekly basis, with 3 reaching Karachi, 3 in Lahore and 4 in the capital city of Islamabad. Manchester and Birmingham facilitate 7 and 3 direct flights respectively, with Manchester serving Islamabad 5 times and Lahore twice, every week. Birmingham only serves Islamabad amongst all Pakistani destinations in this regard, maintaining a frequency of departing 3 times to connect directly with the capital.
Which aircraft from the PIA fleet are being utilized to serve flights to Pakistan from UK?
Pakistan International Airlines is relying on all its variants of the Boeing 777, namely the 777-200 LR, 777-200 ER and 777-300 ER to operate between all airports of UK and Pakistan respectively. All these aircraft facilitate cabin classes of Business, Economy Plus and Economy, with a total seating capacity ranging between 310 and 390 seats per aircraft.