Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has commenced direct flights from Lahore to northern areas as the first flight carrying 153 passengers flew to Skardu on Wednesday. The first direct flight departed from Lahore to Skardu, the junction of tourist destinations in northern areas of Pakistan. The national airline has achieved another milestone by announcing to connect different cities through enhanced flight operations. The passengers who arrived at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport were saw-off by PIA District Manager Abdul Muqaddam and Station Manager Ali Asghar Zaidi. In a statement, PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arshad Malik said that the national airline is performing its national duty to promote tourism. He said that the airline has also commenced flights from Lahore to Swat. The PIA spokesperson announced earlier that the national flag carrier will operate two flights twice a week between Lahore and Skardu. The PIA will use Airbus A-320 aircraft for Skardu flight operation and the fare of one person will be Rs7500. On March 26, Swat’s Saidu Sharif airport had welcomed the first flight after a hiatus of 17 years. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, PK-640, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar and Communications Minister Murad Saeed and tourists on board, had reached the scenic valley at around 11 am. The flight took off from the Islamabad International Airport where a cake was cut to celebrate the resumption of the flight operations to the Saidu Sharif airport.