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PIA hires four jumbos to bring back pilgrims

Updated February 04, 2016

KARACHI: A woman employee of the Pakistan International Airlines raises a slogan as she leads her colleagues during a protest here on Wednesday.—AFP KARACHI: A woman employee of the Pakistan International Airlines raises a slogan as she leads her colleagues during a protest here on Wednesday.—AFP

RAWALPINDI: The PIA management has arranged four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah because of cancellation of PIA flights following the strike by its employees.

A spokesman for the PIA said in a statement on Wednesday night that an agreement in this regard had been finalised with Saudi Airlines. The jumbos will fly on Friday and bring 2,000 pilgrims to Karachi and Islamabad.

He said that on their way back to Saudi Arabia the planes would carry the same number of people to Jeddah for Umrah.

The passengers with confirmed PIA tickets were being provided hotel accommodation by the airline in Jeddah as well as in various cities of Pakistan, he added.

As a backup plan, the spokesman said, PIA was also in final stages of negotiations with Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to facilitate passengers going to and coming from Europe, America and Canada.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has advised the travellers to buy tickets from the offices concerned of airlines to avoid extra payment and rely on the fare mentioned on their websites.

A spokesman for the CAA said that although it was a responsibility of the Competition Commission of Pakistan, the authority had been keeping a check on maintaining normal fare.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2016