RAWALPINDI (APP) - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday started direct flights to Barcelona, Spain, to help facilitate and provide convenience to the airlines customers and enable them to reach their destination in eight hours and 20 minutes. PK 779 an airbus-310 flight carrying some 179 passnger onboard was seen off from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA). The flight was scheduled to depart at 10.00 am but due to bad weather the flight took off after two and half hour delay at 12.30 pm. A ceremony was held at BBIA as a cake was cut to to celebrate the event and PIA souvenir gift bag was given to every passenger of the flight. Besides senior officers of PIA, Director Human Resource & Administration Hanif Pathan, General Manager operation (North) Captain Qasim Hayyat District Managers PIA Rawalpindi and Islamabad Sami Beg and Zulfiqar Ali Bijarani were also present on the occasion. Earlier Captain Qasim Hayyat briefed the media about the flight operation and future plans of the airline. Two flights, to and from Barcelona, will be operated in a week to meet demand of the Pakistani community based in Barcelona. He said PIAs operation on the sector would meet the long-standing demand of the Pakistani community based in Barcelona saying about 45000 Pakistan families are residing in Barcelona and will also cater to the demand of tourists as well as Pakistani Community settled in Spain. GM PIA operation told that Pakistani expatriates had to travel more than 16 hour long flight with connectivity to other points to reach to their destination and now they would be able to reach in 8 hours and 20 minutes. Capt. Qasim said that following Managing Director MD PIA Capt. Aijaz Haroons vision, the Management has been considering launching of more flights to other sectors and stations, keeping in view the demands of our community and viability to operate flights, he added. Our Staff Reporter adds: PIA,s first flight from Dera Ghazi Khan carrying 116 passengers left for Dubai on Thursday, said spokesman of the airline. Dera Ghazi Khan is the eighth city in Pakistan from where PIA is now operating twice a week flights for the sector Dera Ghazi Khan-Dubai-Dera Ghazi Khan. He said that the flight PK 297 left Dera Ghazi Khan International Airport at 10.05. Passengers of the said flight were seen off by Chief Guest Sardar Saleem Haider State Minister for Defense Production, General Manager Passenger Sales International Mr.Rashid Farooqui, Regional Manager PIA Pakistan Naveed Hassan, District Sales Manager PIA- Dera Ghazi Khan Sardar Ahmed Khan, Station Manager PIA Yaqoob Gilani, District Sales Manager Multan Bashir-ud-Din and other senior officials of the airline.