ISLAMABAD – The first Hajj flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying 328 pilgrims took off from Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad for Madina early Monday.
Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf was present at the airport to see off pilgrims who would perform Hajj under the government scheme.
On the occasion, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf urged the pilgrims to project a positive image of the country by adopting good behaviour, staying disciplined and following the rules and regulation set by the government during the Hajj process.
“I hope there will be no mismanagement in this year’s Hajj,” he added.
Apart from Islamabad’s flight, nine more Hajj flights from different cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, will jet off for Saudi Arabia today.
The month-long pre-Hajj flights’ operation would culminate on August 26.
A total of four airlines including PIA, Saudi Airlines, Air Blue and Shaheen Air will participate in the operation and over 107,000 pilgrims from Pakistan are expected to perform Hajj this year in September.
The return flights will start from September 6 and will continue till October 6, 2017.
An amount of Rs. 13,050/-, non-refundable, would be charged from the pilgrims, who opt for Qurbani arrangements through Office of Pilgrim Affairs of Pakistan (OPAP), according to a ministry official.
The Qurbani coupon would be purchased and delivered to pilgrims before Mina movement. Those who do not avail this option will make their own arrangements, he added.