PIA resumes Swat flights
11 October, 2012
SAIDU SHARIF: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) resumed flights to Swat on Wednesday in a bid to revive tourism overshadowed by the shooting of a child rights activist.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, was attacked on her school bus in Mingora, the main town of the northwestern district, on Tuesday, one of the most brutal attacks in the region since the army said in July 2009 it had crushed a Taliban insurgency.
PIA scheduled its first flight to Swat in more than five years before Malala was shot by the Taliban, saying it wanted to attract tourists to what was once dubbed the 'Switzerland of Pakistan'.
"Our main aim is to facilitate both local and foreign tourists to the region where normalcy has returned and I don't think there will be any security problems in the future," PIA chief Junaid Yusuf told journalists.
Asked if Malala's shooting would discourage visitors, he condemned the attack as painful but said it was an isolated incident.
PIA, which has faced serious financial problems in recent years, attributed the long delay in resuming flights to the renovation of the airport and not security concerns.
PIA intends to fly from Islamabad to Swat twice a week from October 28.