Islamabad May 21 2023: The first Hajj flight 773 of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), carrying 328 pilgrims flew to Medina from Karachi here on Sunday.
According to a spokesman for PIA, Chief Operating Officer of PIA Amanullah Qureshi, Director General of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Imtiaz Shah, Director Hajj Karachi Sajjad Haider and officials of the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and PIA saw off the flight.
As per the first day of the Hajj operation, around 700 pilgrims would fly through inaugural flights to Saudi Arabia from Karachi, Islamabad and Faisalabad.
PIA’s Boeing 777 and Airbus 320 were being used for Hajj flights.
More than 80,000 intending pilgrims under the government scheme are set to embark on their Hajj pilgrimage this year from nine cities, as per the latest information received on Sunday.
Among them, around 42,000 pilgrims have chosen Madinah as their first destination, while nearly 38,000 pilgrims will be making their way to Jeddah. The first flight, PK 743, is scheduled to depart from Islamabad on Sunday night at 9:15 pm.
In a significant development, the initial flight of PIA, PK773, carrying 328 pilgrims, has successfully arrived in Madinah from Karachi. The distribution of pilgrims included over 26,000 will arrive from Islamabad, more than 17,000 from Karachi, 17,629 from Lahore, 6,582 from Multan, 4,050 from Quetta and 4,484 from Sialkot.
Additionally, 3,251 pilgrims will be coming to Saudi Arabia from Faisalabad, 468 from Rahim Yar Khan and 914 individuals will be departing from Sukkur for the sacred journey.
Furthermore, a total of 2,250 intending pilgrims will be travelling via Air Blue, while 40,700 pilgrims will utilize the national flag carrier, PIA. Additionally, 2,280 individuals have chosen Serene Airline and 36,000 pilgrims will be flying with Saudi Airlines to reach Saudi Arabia for their Hajj pilgrimage.
Before Hajj, the operation would continue until June 22 and after Hajj the operation would start from July 2 and continue till August 2.
The spokesman said that the Hajj flights would be operated from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Siyalkot, Faisalabad, Sukkur and Rahim Yar Khan.
The CEO of PIA had also issued directives to Hajj teams posted in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to provide best facilities to the pilgrims.