KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines’ Pre-Hajj operation 2014 commenced on Thursday.
PIA Secretary Aviation and Chairman, Muhammad Ali Gardezi saw off the intending pilgrims in Lahore whereas the intending pilgrims from Karachi were seen off by PIA Managing Director, Shahnawaz Rehman and Airport Services Director, Aijaz Mazhar. The first pre-Hajj flight PK2001 took off from Jinnah International Airport Karachi for Jeddah carrying 300 intending pilgrims. While the first pre-Hajj flight from Lahore PK2201 took off from Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore carrying 315 intending hajjis.
On the first day of the pre-Hajj operation the National Flag Carrier carried 1,004 intending hajjis to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; one flight from Karachi and two flights from Lahore.
PIA Managing Director Shahnawaz Rehman, while talking to intending pilgrims, said that special Hajj information desks have been set up at the airports for the convenience of pilgrims and PIA scouts deputed for assisting the pilgrims. Leaflets containing information regarding baggage allowance, excess baggage, change of booking and related information have been distributed to Hajj camps, PIA ticketing offices and the airline’s travel agents for the pilgrims. PIA is conducting the Hajj operation with its own fleet consisting of Boeing-747 and Boeing-777 aircrafts. The airlines are operating Hajj flights from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Sialkot.
Meanwhile, PIA Managing Director Shahnawaz Rehman has instructed all concerned departments to provide the best services to the pilgrims. The first pre-Hajj flights from Islamabad, Quetta and Peshawar regions PK2203, PK2601 and PK2501, respectively, will commence from August 29. This year, PIA will be carrying around 54,000 intending Hajj pilgrims to the holy land; out of which 43,000 Hujjaj will be carried by 112 Hajj flights and 11,000 through scheduled flights from all over Pakistan.
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