KARACHI: Karachi's first Hajj flight carrying 450 pilgrims departed to Jeddah as part of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Hajj operation which started on Monday.
PK-1661 left from Karachi's Hajj Terminal at 5:50am for Saudi Arabia with more than 450 pilgrims onboard.
Many social and religious organisations installed special camps at the Hajj Terminal to provide assistance to the pilgrims.
Official sources in the Ministry of Religious Affairs on Sunday said that the pre-Hajj flight operation for around 160,000 intending pilgrims would be completed in accordance with the given schedule.
They claimed that the ministry has made elaborate arrangements to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, adding that this year medicines worth Rs24 million would be provided at medical centers established in Makkah and Madina.
They informed that PIA and Saudi Airlines have been given the mandate to ensure smooth and timely conduct of the operation.
Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Sialkot and Multan would be used as international gateways for Hajj flights to Jeddah and Madina and vice versa, while Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan and Sukkur would be used as feeder airports, unless airlines operate smaller aircraft from these stations, according to the Hajj policy of 2010.
PIA has requested the pilgrims to clearly write their complete names, address on their suitcases so that they could easily be identified during the travel. Each pilgrim would be allowed free baggage up to 32kg and hand carry not exceeding 7kg. Excess baggage, if any would be charged from passenger at the rate of 15 Saudi Riyals per kg. Each pilgrim would be allowed a 10-Litre Ab-e-Zamzam bottle on their return.
Chairman of Hajj Group Organizers (HGOs) Islamabad A Ghaffar Khan Marwat informed that the HGOs have also finalised all arrangements for those pilgrims who are going to perform the religious obligation under the private scheme.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ