ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday inaugurated the long-delayed new airport in the capital, Islamabad, replacing the cramped Benazir Bhutto airport often criticized by travelers.
A Pakistan International Airlines pilot waved a green and white Pakistani flag out of his cockpit window after landing the carrier’s first commercial flight at the New International Islamabad Airport.
With a sleek glass-front entrance, spacious check-in areas and jetway bridges for boarding, the Y-shaped airport promises an end to the congestion that has frustrated air travel in the past.
Abbasi’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party had been eager to open the new airport before national polls, likely in July, as it touts big-ticket infrastructure as sign of economic progress in the South Asian nation of 208 million people.
Abbasi’s government is spending billions of dollars on upgrading Pakistan’s transport infrastructure and ending energy blackouts, with freshly paved motorways as well as dams and power plants popping up across the country.