SWAT: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) restored regular flight operations to Swat after a gap of 17 years on Friday.
Flight PK-650, carrying tourists as well Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, and federal minister Murad Saeed, landed at the picturesque valley at 11 am on Friday, March 26.
The restoration of flights to Swat was aimed at boosting tourism in the scenic valley, with two flights operating from Islamabad every week. The operation will connect with flights from Karachi and Lahore.
Speaking at the departure of the flight, the aviation minister said that the flights to the city were earlier closed due to financial constraints and terrorism.
He added that the people of Swat and Malakand bravely fought back terrorism alongside security forces.
The flights, he maintained, will not just add to the national exchequer but also boost tourism in Pakistan. Swat will also witness development as a result, he maintained.
Following the flight’s arrival, a ceremony presided over by the K-P CM, was held at the airport. Public office holders in the district were also in attendance.
Talking to the media, Mahmood termed the regularisation of flights after a span of 17 years a significant milestone.
The minister felicitated the people of Malakand in general and Swat in specific on the important development.
He hoped that the regularisation would help uplift tourism and employment opportunities in the valley.
Mahmood added that the incumbent government was paying special attention to boosting tourism.
“Efforts are on to identify new tourism sites and to revamp them at par with international standards. Work is also ongoing to establish various integrated tourism zones in the province.” he maintained.