RAWALPINDI: PIA commenced its Haj flight operation on Thursday, with its first flight carrying 329 pilgrims departing for Madina at 10:30am from Lahore after a two-hour delay due to a fire incident which caused a temporary suspension of the operation at Allama Iqbal Intern­ational Airport.

According to an official, the fire erupted due to a short circuit in immigration counter’s ceiling.

A PIA spokesman said that following the departure of first flight (PK717) from Lahore, the second flight (PK713) from Islam­abad left for Madina at 7:10pm with 327 pilgrims.

The first Haj flight from Multan is scheduled to depart for Madina on Friday (today), and the first flight from Karachi to Madina on Saturday.

The first Haj flight from Quetta would travel to Madina via Karachi on Saturday.

A direct flight from Sialkot to Madina is set to depart on May 19, while a Haj flight from Kar­achi via Sukkur will depart for Jeddah on May 27.

The spokesman said that 19,000 pilgrims will perform Haj under the government scheme and 15,000 under private operators quota.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2024

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