PIA pre-Hajj first flight from Karachi takes off

KARACHI: PIA Pre Hajj2013 first flight PK 2001 from Karachi took off from the Hajj Terminal for Jeddah at 3PM carrying 276 intending pilgrims. Intending Hajj pilgrims were seen off by Managing Director PIA, Muhammad Junaid Yunus, Director Corporate Planning and Chief Hajj Coordinator, Shah Nawaz Rehman. Director Flight Operations PIA, Captain Khalid Hamza, GM Central Control and Dy.

Chief Hajj Coordinator Captain Anwar Adil Shaikh, CFO Nayyar Hayat, GM PHS Aamir Bashir, GM Security Col. Altaf Tahir, Senior officials of the airline, CAA and ASF. PIA Spokesperson said here on Thursday.

Earlier PIA Hajj Flight 2101 left from Islamabad on schedule carrying 481 intending Hujjaj who were seen off by Director Customer Services PIA Rasheed Ahmad, followed by PK 2301 in late evening transporting 501 Hujjaj from Lahore by DMD Engineering PIA Air Vice Marshal Qasim Masood Khan. The fourth flight of day was planned from Quetta at night and to be seen off by GM HR Mehdi Hasan Changezi.

Managing Director PIA, Muhammad Junaid Yunus greeted pilgrims before boarding the aircraft and ensured departure of the flight on schedule. He assured the pilgrims that PIA Hajj operation is performed with religious fervour and although meticulous arrangements are in place for providing travelling facilities, still if any difficulty is experienced by them, they may approach PIA Management for resolution of their grievance. On the occasion, the intending pilgrims prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and the national flag carrier as well.

Later speaking with media the MD PIA Junaid Yunus said that the entire Hajj operation will be conducted with PIA’s own fleet without leasing any aircraft. This will be huge saving for the National Flag Carrier. PIA will operate Hajj flights with dedicated two Boeing 747 and two Boeing 777 aircraft. Boeing 777 aircraft will mainly be operated from Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta whereas Lahore, Islamabad, Multan and Sialkot will entirely be operated by Boeing 747 aircraft, he said.

Yunus said that the airline’s pre-Hajj operation will conclude on Oct 09, 2013. He said that PIA would be carrying around 62,000 pilgrims to the Holy Land by operating more than 151 Hajj flights whereas more than 8000 pilgrims will be transported on regular scheduled flights, this year.

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