Qatar Airways is starting direct international flights from Faisalabad with effect from July 17, 2015. This was stated by Engr Rizwan Ashraf President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI). He was chairing a meeting of FCCI standing Committee on airlines and tourism, here on Tuesday. He termed it a major breakthrough, adding that it will also give a quantum jump to the business of air travel sector in addition to facilitating exporters regularly making visits to various international destinations. He said that Faisalabad was earning 6 billion dollars per annum from its textile exports which could be further increased by starting direct international flights from this city. He dispelled the notions that its runway was insufficient to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft and said that he had discussed this issue with officials of various airlines who are also ready to start air operation provided it was economically feasible. He said that PIA management has also been asked to partially restore its air schedule for Faisalabad. However, other airlines are also vigorously engaged in negotiation to start flights from Faisalabad as early as possible. Rizwan Ashraf also appreciated the efforts of Anwar Zia Air Port Manager and assured that local business community will also play its role in the beautification and infrastructure development of the airport. He also expressed satisfaction over the performance of the Standing Committee on airlines and tourism and said that FCCI will continue to play its dynamic role for the overall development of this city. Earlier, Anwar Zia Air Port Manager said that trimming of flight operation from Faisalabad air port has not only compounded the problems of local travellers but also inflicted Rs 125 million loss to the Civil Aviation Authority. He said that Saudi Air, Emirates, Ittehad and other airlines are also planning to start flights operation from Faisalabad. He said that these airlines have conducted feasibility studies that have confirmed its potential. He assured that representative of FCCI and Travel Agents Association would also be invited to attend their monthly meetings of Facilitation Control Committee. It will help them to get direct feedback from the passengers as well as other stakeholders, he added. Nadeem Allahwala senior vice president FCCI presented a souvenir of FCCI to Anwar Zia APM Faisalabad while Inaam Afzal formally thanked the participants of the meeting.