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Shaheen Air flight carrying stranded Haj pilgrims reaches home

KARACHI: A Shaheen Air International (SAI) flight carrying 216 Haj pilgrims who were stranded at Madina airport landed in Karachi early Sunday morning.  

According to details, the SAI flight (NL-704) brought the Haj pilgrims back home from Madina where they were stranded owing to suspension of the SAI’s flight operation.

Yesterday, a  spokesperson of the CAA said the airline’s licence had been restored for the purpose of post-Haj operation.

He said more than 325 Haj pilgrims had been left stranded in Madina for the last 24 hours. The permission to repatriate them was granted solely on humanitarian grounds, he added.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had suspended the flight operations of the airline over a dispute about nonpayment of arrears totaling over Rs.1.4 billion.

It may be mentioned here that more than 200 Pakistanis were stranded in a Chinese city for over a week when the CAA suspended the airline’s flight operation last month.

Taking notice of media reports about the ordeal of the passengers, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had ordered the airline to immediately bring them back.

Afterwards, the CAA gave special permission to the airline to send an aircraft to repatriate the stranded passengers.

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