Pakistan's larget private sector airline airblue has launched a new service from Ras Al Khaimah to Lahore as demand from the passengers surged after visa and travel restrictions eased by the UAE authorities.

The airline's first flight from the provincial capital of Pakistan's Punjab province arrived on Sunday night and returned to the historical city early Monday with full load capacity.

"We have planned flights twice a week on the Lahore-RAK-Lahore sector initially as passengers demand is picking up," Sohail Sheikh, airblue's country manager for the UAE, told Khaeej Times on Monday.

Amer Alazaiza, head of Commercial Department at Ras Al Khaimah Airport, welcomed the inaugural flight from Lahore at Ras Al Khaimah Airport on Sunday evening.

Chandrashekhar Deshmukh, chief financial officer at Ras Al Khaimah Airport; Vishwajeet Thanik, head of Cargo at Ras Al Khaimah Airport, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Airblue has been operating more than 40 weekly flights to major cities of Pakistan from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. It also plans to expand its UAE network once travel returns to normalcy.

"We are planning to launch another service from Al Ain to Peshawar. The proposal is still under consideration and will be finalised in coming days," Sheikh said.

The Islamabad-based carrier operates all-Airbus fleet comprising of nine aircraft including A320-200 and A321-200. It has also placed orders for two A321neo aircraft.

Replying to a question, airblue's country manager said the airline may increase frequency from Ras Al Khaimah to Lahore or introduce new destinations in Pakistan after assessing the demand.

"We will assess the passenger demand from Ras Al Khaimah to Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar before taking any decision," Sheikh said.

The Pakistan International Airlines also started operating flights from Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi to Ras Al Khaimah from August 28. It is also operating flights from all major Pakistani cities to different emirates of the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

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