PIA Hajj flights operation to kick off from 30th
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has finalised arrangements for carrying over 109,000 Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from seven major cities of Pakistan.
The PK 1901 is expected to depart at 6:30 PM of Pre-Hajj airline operations will begin Quetta on September 30, 2011 and the intending Hajjis will be seen off by Managing Director PIA, Nadeem Khan Yousufzai, the spokesman said on Wednesday.
The first flight from Islamabad PK 1401 is expected to leave Benazir Bhutto International Airport early morning 1:00 AM on October 1, from Karachi PK 1701 at 1:50 AM and Lahore PK 1201 at 2:20 PM on the same day.
These inaugural flights from the major cities will carry a total of 1,737 intending pilgrims to Jeddah. The Pre-Hajj flights from Sialkot and Multan will commence from October 9 and October 13, 2011 respectively.
The Pre-Hajj operation will be completed on October 31, 2011 through 305 flights to Jeddah carrying over 109,000 intending pilgrims. PIA will undertake 10 flights daily. PIA will operate 78 Pre-Hajj flights from Quetta carrying 15,190 intending pilgrims, 66 flights from Peshawar carrying 19,100 intending pilgrims, 46 flights each from Islamabad and Lahore will carry about 21,810 intending pilgrims respectively. PIA will operate 38 flights from Karachi carrying 16,722 intending pilgrims. While, from Sialkot and Multan PIA will operate 7 and 24 flights carrying over 3,320 from Sialkot and over 11,378 intending pilgrims from Multan. A total of 07 aircrafts will be utilised for the Hajj operations, which include 3 Boeing 747s, 2 Airbus A310s and 2 Boeing 777s while 2 Boeing 747 aircraft are being kept as a standby to immediately replace an operational aircraft if it develops fault.
PIA spokesman said that keeping in mind maximum comfort to intending pilgrims, an integrated Hajj operation has been chalked out in close coordination with Saudi Agencies such as General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA), Ports Projects Management and Development Company (PPMDC), General Intelligence Department (GID) etc as well as Pakistani authorities such as CAA, ASF, ANF, Customs, Immigration etc.
The spokesman said PIA along with other stakeholders carried out numerous brain storming sessions and has made travelling arrangements to better facilitate the intending Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan. The waiting time for the pilgrims before commencement of their journey has been reduced to half by eliminating processing at Hajji camps, from 16 hours to 8 hours and processing of travel documents would be done only once at the airports of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Quetta. Only at Multan, due to shortage of space as construction work is ongoing at the airport; the Hajjis will have to reach the Hajji Camp where the check-in and baggage acceptance will be done while the remaining processing of their documents will be at Multan Airport.
PIA has prepared an information CD for the Hajjis in which PIA policies, correct filing of travel papers and clearance from immigration have been explained. The CD also explains the intending pilgrims of the articles they may be allowed to carry in their hand baggage.
PIA’s post Hajj operation will commence from November 10, 2011 and conclude on December 10, 2011. PIA spokesman concluded. staff report