The Pre Hajj flight operation began on Saturday as Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flights carrying pilgrims from Karachi landed in Medina Munawara.
PIA’s first Hajj flight, PK-7001, with 300 pilgrims departed around 2:25am from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi and landed in Medina at around 6:25am PST.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said the flight operations under the government Hajj scheme will continue from today (July 14) till August 15 while operations for the return of pilgrims will begin from August 28.
A total 1,550 pilgrims will depart from major cities of the country on the first and second day of the operation, the spokesperson said.
“The intending pilgrims under the government scheme can check their flight schedule on the official website of the ministry,” the spokesperson added.
Pilgrims have been directed to reach the Hajj training camp two days before their departure, he said adding that their vaccination has already begun.
Passports, tickets and identification lockets would be provided to pilgrims at their respective Hajj camps, the spokesperson said.
PIA CEO Musharraf Cyan Rasul and other officials were present at the Karachi airport to see off the pilgrims. PIA staff have been instructed to provide all necessary facilities to the pilgrims.
This year 179,210 Pakistanis would perform Hajj. This includes 119,473 pilgrims under government Hajj Scheme, while 59,737 would perform through private operators. PIA will operate 200 flights to Jeddah and Madina transporting over 55,000 pilgrims to fulfill the religious obligation.