On independence day, northern Pakistan welcomes 1st international flight
In 'historic' milestone, flight from Dubai lands at Skardu airport, will flourish tourism in region, says Pakistani Foreign Ministry
By Alperen Aktas
ISTANBUL (AA) - The first international flight to northern Pakistan landed at its destination in the Gilgit-Baltistan region on Monday.
In what local officials have hailed as a "historic" moment, the flight from Dubai carrying 80 passengers to Skardu International Airport "opens up new possibilities for travel" and connects the area with the rest of the world, said an official statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
"It's a great step towards promoting tourism and enhancing the region's connectivity," added the statement by the Office of the Chief Secretary in Gilgit-Batistan.
The flight from Dubai to Skardu took four hours and 30 minutes and was welcomed by a water cannon salute.
The town of Skardu, which the airport services, "is now open to the world as tourism flourishes in Pakistan," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said on X.
The flight also coincided with Pakistan's Independence Day. The Foreign Ministry said: "Dramatic scenes at Skardu, when the historic 1st international flight touches down at the tarmac, marshalled to a water cannon salute, and pilot waving the national flag from the cockpit window."
Skardu receives regular domestic flights and has one of Pakistan's longest runways, around 3,600 meters (12,000 feet).
International flights became possible after the Pakistan State Oil Company Limited recently built a refueling facility at the airport, the local daily Pamir Times said on X.
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