The first Hajj flight from Faisalabad Airport will leave for Saudi Arabia on Thursday night, Airport Manager Anwar Zia said on Wednesday.
He was addressing a press conference at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said 3,300 pilgrims would travel to Jeddah from Faisalabad on board 18 flights.
Zia said travellers had been directed to reach Faisalabad Airport several hours before the flight. He said special arrangements had been made at the airport for security clearance.
He said their relatives would not be allowed beyond the first gate of at the airport.
The airport manager said money changing facilities had been set up at the airport for one month to facilitate travellers.
He said international flights had started from Faisalabad Airport from July 10.
He said a Fly-Dubai plane, with a capacity of 152 passengers had, had been fully booked since international flights started.
He said 70 per cent of the passengers from Faisalabad opted for Qatar Airways.
He said Air Arabian would start flights from September 18. He said the airline would run four flights from Faisalabad to Sharjah per week.
He said Gulf Air and Air Blue were expected to start flights from Faisalabad from November 1. He said the PIA would also start a weekly flight between Faisalabad and Jeddah in a week.
He said Ittehad Airways was also finalising plans to start a weekly flight.
He said Faisalabad Airport’s income was expected to rise from Rs68 million to Rs300 million through the international flights.
Zia said Faisalabad, Islamabad and Lahore now handled 40-42 per cent of cargo traffic.
He said soon a cargo complex would set up at Faisalabad Airport. He said land for this purpose had been allocated. “It is expected to be completed in a five months,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2015.