Shaheen Air International (SAI) issued a statement on Saturday announcing that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted the airline permission to resume its post-Haj operation and depart to Saudi Arabia to bring back pilgrims to Pakistan.
"We were granted permission by the CAA early Saturday morning, subsequently, our flight departed to Madina to bring the pilgrims back to the country. We apologise to the pilgrims for the inconvenience and assure that the rest of the post-Haj operation will operate peacefully," read the statement, quoting SAI Director Marketing Zohaib Hasan.
Meanwhile, the CAA said it allowed the airline to continue with the post-Haj flight operation in better "public interest".
The SAI's post-Haj flight operation to bring back pilgrims from Jeddah and Madina had come to a halt following the CAA's refusal to extend the airline's regular public transport licence, it had emerged on Friday.
The licence — which is renewed on a quarterly basis — expired on August 30, 2018, according to a statement issued by CAA on the matter, which added that "there is no [licenced] aircraft available on the airline's inventory".
Through its statement, the authority had reminded all those concerned that the airline has outstanding dues of Rs1.4 billion and that the matter is currently being pursued legally.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the SIA had said that the CAA had provided assurances to the airline that it would be allowed to bring back the pilgrims.
“CAA had assured us that no action would be taken during the post-Haj operation to ensure smooth management of the journey of the pilgrims who will be coming back to their homeland after performing the blessed pilgrimage. The court had also ordered the same. CAA has again violated the court orders,” read a statement issued by the airline on Friday.