PIA operates 273 flights carrying 110,726 pilgrims

PIAKARACHI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) operated 273 flights carrying 110,726 intending pilgrims from seven major cities of Pakistan in 32 days; using seven dedicated aircraft of the PIA fleet up to October 31, 2011, PIA spokesman said here on Tuesday.

PIA operated 265 pre-Hajj flights and 14 weekly scheduled flights for facilitating travel of intending pilgrims while eight charter flights were also operated which helped PIA earn foreign exchange of $5.086 million.Pre-Hajj operation of transporting intending pilgrims to Jeddah completed successfully with on time departures and a technical reliability of 98.8 percent while the overall punctuality due to delays because of weather, immigration, bird hit and re-routing etc, remained at 95 percent despite challenges.

PIA operated 22 pre-Hajj flights from Karachi carrying 9,546 intending pilgrims to Jeddah, 39 flights from Islamabad carrying 18,648 pilgrims, 39 flights from Lahore carrying 18,821 pilgrims, 63 flights from Peshawar carrying 19,055 pilgrims, 78 flights from Quetta carrying 15,718 pilgrims, 17 flights from Multan with 8,435 pilgrims and seven pre-Hajj flights from Sialkot carrying 3,483 intending pilgrims to Jeddah.

PIA carried 13,365 intending pilgrims through regular scheduled flights while 3,655 intending pilgrims were carried through chartered flights. The salient features for this year’s pre-Hajj operation were reduction in Hujjaj reporting time from 16 hours to 08 hours, elimination of Hajji camps in Pakistan which helped in a saving Rs 50 million. – Dailytimes