First 3 PIA hajj flights leave for Saudi Arabia
Pakistan International Airlines has commenced its Hajj operations from Karachi as the first flight carrying group of 150 intending pilgrims has left from Karachi for the holy land in Sunday's wee hours.
A total of 790 intending pilgrims will be flown from Jinnah Terminal, Karachi today. The first flight left Jinnah Terminal at 0430 hours tonight. Moreover, two other private airlines airlifted other 320 intending pilgrims at 0600 hours this morning.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf saw off the intending pilgrims at the airport. Earlier, he talked to them, garlanded and felicitated them over the blessed opportunity they are getting.
He said full- fledged arrangements have been taken up to make available all facilities for the intending pilgrims, adding they have been vaccinated prior to their departure to Saudi Arab and booklets consisting of all the concerned helpful directives have been provided to them.
Moreover, their accommodations have been arranged near Madina Munawwara, he highlighted, adding the national and all the private airlines have been directed to provide to the pilgrims all the facilities. It should be mentioned here that the hajj operation will continue till September 16.
Besides PIA, Shaheen Air, Air Blue and Saudi Airline have arranged additional flights to accommodate the pilgrims.
Out of total 145,180 intending pilgrims, 28,799 will depart for Saudi Arabia from Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, 29,587 from Lahore, 37,010 from Karachi, 8,338 from Multan, 2,346 from Sialkot, 2,874 from Faisalabad, 665 from Rahim Yar Khan, 1,153 from Sukkur, 25,200 from Peshawar and 9,208 from Quetta.