Skardu Airport finally upgraded into an International Airport

The international flight operations in Skardu are expected to boost tourism in the region and increase foreign exchange.

Skardu Aiport (KDU) during the winter season. (Abbas Shah / Wikimedia)

The Skardu Airport has now been upgraded to an international airport.

The airport in the scenic mountainous area will soon be witnessing international flight operations.

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This was revealed by the Director-General of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Khaqan Murtaza, while speaking to Profit magazine.

According to Murtaza, Skardu Airport (KDU) has been upgraded to an international airport per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Nevertheless, the immediate launch of international flight operations to the scenic airport is unlikely as no international airline has shown any intent, owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Murtaza added that Pakistan is currently on the COVID-19 red list of the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), Turkey, and other Arab Gulf countries.

However, the Director-General CAA is still optimistic about the coming of international flights to the scenic airport as soon as the coronavirus cases dip.

A PIA flight taking off from Skardu Airport.

The international flight operations in Skardu would boost global tourism in the region and increase the South Asian country’s foreign exchange.

The latest developments are part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to exercise the maximum benefit of the region as a tourism hub.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago, the local Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) government granted two local private airlines licenses to launch their flight operations to and from Skardu.

Apart from this, the CAA also aims to launch helicopter rides to Skardu, Gilgit, and Chitral to promote tourism in the region.

The authorities aim to launch helicopter rides, similar to the one in this picture, to Skardu, Gilgit, and Chitral to boost tourism. (Great Karakorum Expeditions)

In recent months, flight operations between Skardu Airport and Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, and Faisalabad have been launched for the first time.

Due to this, Skardu Airport was one of the busiest airports in Pakistan during the summer.

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