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In a first, PIA to charge private hajj pilgrims in dollars

KARACHI – The Pakistan International Airline (PIA), for the first time in its history, has decided to charge airfare in US dollars from pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia under private Hajj scheme.

The airfare for pilgrims from the Southern region and Northern region is likely to be in the range of $810 to $1,100 and $860 to $1,150, respectively, The News reported. 

Previously, PIA had announced to charge airfare in dollars around one and half years ago but it could not be implemented after Saudi Arabia imposed restrictions on Hajj due to Covid-19 pandemic. 

The airline is of the view that the move will end discrepancy in rates as its tickets were also being bought internationally. 

However, it will charge a fixed amount of Rs181,000 for return ticket from pilgrims going to perform Hajj under the government scheme. 

Saudi Arabia has allocated a quota of 81,132 pilgrims to Pakistan who will be able to perform the annual Hajj this year. 37,000 out of total allocation will perform hajj through the government scheme while the rest of them will avail private services. 

The national airline is expected to take around 14,000 pilgrims on government quota and around 16,000 private pilgrims during this Hajj season. 

PIA will begin this year’s Hajj flight operations on May 31, the airline announced last week.

“PIA’s flight operations will continue with 297 flights from May 31 to August 13,” it said in a tweet.

“Hajj flight operations will be carried out from 8 cities of Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Multan, Peshawar and Quetta.” PIA said the Hajj flights from Pakistan would fly to Jeddah and Medina.

Courtesy: Daily Pakistan

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