RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Inter­­national Airlines on Thursday announced starting direct flights to Syria’s capital Damascus, saying first such flight will leave Karachi on May 28.

“The national flag carrier will launch the Damascus operation on the special instructions of Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique,” the PIA spokesman said.

The Damascus operation is being launched on the demand of pilgrims, he said, adding that direct flights would provide the passengers with bet­ter and more comfortable facilities. Shrines of Hazrat Zainab, the grand­daughter of Holy Prophet (PBUH), and Hazrat Sakina, the daughter of Imam Hussain, are situated in the Syrian capital and thousands of pilgrims from across the world visit these places each year to pay their respects.

The spokesman said that initially a weekly flight would be operated and the number of flights would be gradually increased.

“Our aim is to provide better and more comfortable travel facilities to pilgrims and other passengers,” Mr Rafique said.

He said PIA was on the path of development and soon new planes would be made part of its fleet.

The minister appealed to the pilgrims going to Damascus to offer special prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022

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