Hajj flight operations set to begin on Saturday

The flight operation will begin from Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Sukkhur simultaneously


Sehrish Wasif July 09, 2018
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: After some delay, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony on Monday announced the Hajj flight operations 2018 schedule, according to which it will begin on July 14 and will continue till August 15.

The flight operation will begin from Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Sukkhur but flights will depart at different timings. On the first and second day of the operation, a total of 1550 pilgrims will depart from major cities of of the country.

Talking to The Express Tribune, an official in the ministry said that this year pilgrims enrolled under the government Hajj scheme would be flown by three designated airlines which include the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Saudi Airlines and Air Blue.

However, Shaheen Airlines has been excluded from the list as it failed to provide flights schedule on time and caused delay in announcing its flight operation plan.

The first PIA flight carrying will depart from Karachi at 2:25 am, followed from Islamabad's at 7 am, he said. In Multan, the first flight carrying the pilgrims will depart on July 15 and from Faisalabad on July 17.

Hajj quota issued to 128 organisers

“The intending pilgrims under the government scheme can check their flight schedule on the official website of the ministry,” the official added.

Meanwhile, pilgrims have been directed to reach the Hajj training camp two days before departing while their vaccination has already begun.

“Passports, air tickets and identification lockets will be handed over to the pilgrims at Hajj camps,” the official maintained.

He further said that the flight operation for bringing the pilgrims back will start from August 20 and continue till September 20.

Earlier, caretaker minister religious affairs visited Madinah from July 7 to July 8 in order to supervise preparations for the upcoming pilgrimage.

On the first day of his arrival, the minister was briefed about the operation in general and the new initiatives taken to facilitate the pilgrims in the holy cities.

He was also apprised about the allocation of quota of pilgrims to various catering organisations and accommodation groups.

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