Pakistan’s 76th Independence Day, August 14, 2023, will witness a momentous occasion as Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is all set to debut Skardu Airport’s first international flight from Dubai.*
Skardu, nestled amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of Gilgit-Baltistan, has long been a sought-after destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Until now, travellers from around the world had to rely on connecting flights and long journeys to reach this picturesque region.
However, that is about to change as Skardu Airport, the only airport in northern Pakistan with the capacity to accommodate large airplanes, is preparing to welcome its first-ever international flight from Dubai.
This much-anticipated development comes as a result of a series of concerted efforts to boost the region’s accessibility and tourism potential. Gilgit-Baltistan’s Chief Secretary, Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani, revealed that Skardu’s inaugural international flight from Dubai will touch down on 14th August, marking a historic moment for the airport and the nation as a whole.
After the inaugural flight, PIA has exciting plans for travellers. The airline will commence weekly flights between Dubai and Skardu on Saturday, 19th August, and Skardu and Dubai on Tuesday, 22nd August, providing a convenient and direct air route to this mesmerising destination.
Moreover, to enhance the travel experience, the Dubai-Skardu flight will later take off for Islamabad, offering seamless connectivity for passengers to the nation’s capital and beyond.
The significance of this milestone was further bolstered in December 2021 when former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, granted Skardu Airport the coveted status of ‘international.’ However, the airport’s full potential was somewhat limited at the time due to the absence of a proper refueling facility for international flights. That challenge has been addressed, and the new refueling facility is set to open its doors on 11th August, just in time for the inaugural international flight.
Skardu Airport’s transformation into an international gateway is expected to revolutionise tourism in the region. The airport’s strategic location amidst the enchanting landscapes of Gilgit-Baltistan makes it an ideal point of entry for travelers seeking to explore the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the area.
In recent times, there has been a surge in demand for travel to Skardu, prompting PIA to launch direct flights between Karachi and Skardu in June, followed by direct flights from Lahore on 3rd June. The introduction of twelve Airbus A320 flights connecting Skardu with major cities in Pakistan further reflects the increasing popularity of this breathtaking destination.