The first Haj flight of pilgrims of the Makkah Route Initiative from, Pakistan left Islamabad International Airport on Thursday. At the same time flights of pilgrims of the Makkah Route Initiative from Malaysia, and Bangladesh will also start arriving on Thursday. The Hujjaj were seen off at Islamabad International airport by Federal Minister of Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for religious affairs Pir Noor Ul Haq Qadri and officials from the embassy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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This facility is only available to passengers travelling on charter flights or special flights of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Pakistan International Airline and Air Blue. Majority of the passengers that are facilitated under this initiative are Saudi Arabian Airline’s passengers. Out of a total number of 21831 Hujjaj that will benefit from “Makkah Route facility, 11485 Hujjaj are travelling on Saudi Arabia Airlines, then 7390 Hujjaj travelling on PIA and 2965 Hujjaj travelling on Airblue.
Head of Saudi Arabia’s Special Delegation and Director General of Passports Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya said the initiative comes within the Doy of Al-Rahman Program, which was developed and adopted by the Kingdom’s leadership as one of the Vision 2030 programs. This year Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia are added to this initiative. Last year the program was launched for Hujjaj of Indonesia and Malaysia.
It aims to improve the quality of services provided to Haj and Umrah pilgrims, as their immigration and customs requirements will be taken care of at Islamabad International Airport. They will get their visas stamped and health screening done at Islamabad.
PIA’s Pre-hajj operation of transporting intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan will commence from Friday, July 5, 2019. PIA will transport more than 78,000 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia through nearly 300 flights from Pakistan.
Four PIA Hajj flights that will depart on the first day of operation on July 5, 2019, include PK741 from Islamabad, PK 743 from Karachi, PK 759 from Lahore and PK 735 from Peshawar carrying more 1,300 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Airblue also launched its pre-hajj flights and its Inaugural flight PA 4760 departed from Lahore to Madina at 04:45 am Thursday 4 July.