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Pilgrims likely to avail air taxi service as Saudi Arabia revolutionizes travel

06:41 PM | 13 Jan, 2024
Pilgrims likely to avail air taxi service as Saudi Arabia revolutionizes travel

RIYADH - Muslims from across the world might have a truly enthralling experience in the near future as the authorities in Saudi Arabia are looking to deploy air taxis in the kingdom.

The state-owned Saudia airline has contracted the purchase of 100 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from a German manufacturer.

The 'Lilium jets' might be used to shuttle between the King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah and airstrips in Mecca hotels near the Grand Mosque and places of religious significance.

The director of the group’s corporate communication Abdullah Al Shahrani confirmed the development and told Saudi news port Akhbar24 that the eVTOL aircraft can carry up to six passengers.

Currently, the Saudi carrier is in discussion with legal institutions in the country to obtain flying permits for this type of electric aircraft which has not been used in the country on a commercial basis. 

Al Shahrani said that if permissions are granted, it would mark a “qualitative” turn in transportation during the seasons of Umrah and the annual Hajj pilgrimage. 

“This aircraft will be used for the first time in the kingdom,” he added but did not reveal any date for operation of the service.

Saudi Arabia welcomes around 2 million Muslims from across the world for the Hajj season while the number of Umrah pilgrims crosses over 13 million.

The kingdom is trying to provide the best facilities to the pilgrims from different countries and transportation is one of the most important aspects of Hajj primarily because managing the logistics of millions of people every year is a daunting task in itself.

Apart from transportation, the government is also keen to focus on easing the visa procedures and has also improved the Nusuk platform for issuing permits. 

The kingdom has also permitted its citizens to apply to invite their friends to visit the country and perform Umrah; soon, a unified visa platform on the pattern of Schengen Visa will also be launched to facilitate the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

If air taxis are allowed to operate, Muslims would have another exciting experience, and especially the elderly and patients would find it much more comfortable to perform Umrah and Hajj.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 24 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 22, 2024 Monday in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.2 for buying and 296.2 for selling while British Pound hovers at 339.5 for buying, and 343 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.25. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.2 296.2
UK Pound Sterling GBP 339.5 343
U.A.E Dirham AED 75 75.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.25 73.95
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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