KARACHI - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by 34 direct flights to Jeddah from Pakistan has so far taken 14,840 intending pilgrims for the holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, a PIA spokesperson said on Sunday.
He said MD PIA Muhammad Junaid Yunus was personally supervising to ensure the scheduled departures of the Hajj flights through the airline’s own fleet, without compromising the domestic and international schedule which was being maintained according to the expected time of departures (ETD) and arrivals (ETA).
“Besides maintaining the departures of daily eight hajj flights from the federal and provincial capitals of Pakistan, PIA is ensuring its regular 125 flight departures and safe landings for its 13-14 thousand international and domestic passengers on 24 hours basis daily,” the spokesperson said.
So far, four Hajj flights from Karachi to Jeddah carried 2,012 intending pilgrims, eight flights from Lahore carried 4,024, nine flights from Islamabad carried 4,527, nine flights from Peshawar carried 2,961, and four flights from Quetta carried 1,316 for Hajj-2012.
However, to ensure safety of the aircraft and passengers and to make the journey comfortable there were some delays in departure of regular flights for technical reasons and were allowed to depart as soon as the engineering confirmed the aircraft safety. “Of the Hajj flights, so far, only one from Peshawar delayed for 27 minutes due to scrutiny of passports and anti narcotic checking at the airport on Sept 20,” it was informed.
He said in the end that the PIA engineering staff was also keeping 32 aircrafts healthy for safe air travel.
This year, PIA is expected to carry over 95,000 pilgrims through Hajj and regular flights.