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THE SCOTTISH ECONOMY SUFFERED a major blow in the first quarter of the year as two airlines scrapped services out of Glasgow International airport
The BAA airport lost its direct air link with Pakistan following a shake-up by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ahead of its proposed new partnership with Turkish Airlines. And BMI is to pull its daily Glasgow-Heathrow operation from the end of March.
PIA closed its twice-weekly Glasgow-lahore link on January 22 after an appraisal of its loss-making operations in Europe. The airline said its decision was linked to competition from Emirates, which operates daily to Pakistan via Dubai. A spokesman said flights from Pakistan to Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds/Bradford were profitable and could be expanded. PIA will also continue its Manchester-New York route.
BMI blamed its decision to suspend flights on BAA, claiming its airport charges were prohibitively expensive.
The Lufthansa-owned carrier said it was losing more than £1 million a month on the route. leading figures in the scottish travel industry said the decision was devastating news for the country. Many are worried that a British Airways' monopoly on the Heathrow route would lead to increased fares. There were also concerns that BMI's absence would slash connectivity options via the london hub on star Alliance carriers.