KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started preparations for flight operations to be conducted for Hajj pilgrims, ARY News reported.
The national flag-carrier has decided to temporarily add six narrow-body aircraft to its fleet from June become commencement of flight operations.
PIA administration released tenders for acquiring Airbus A-320 and 737 aircraft on wet lease for six months to facilitate uninterrupted operations for facilitating nationals
It is pertinent to mention here that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved issuance of supplementary budget of more than one billion rupees for Hajj operations on February 19.
Saudi Arabia had already issued more than 4.33 million Umrah visas this year with the largest number of pilgrims visiting the kingdom from Pakistan.
The total figure for approved visas stands at 4,338,959, of which 3,892,554 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
443,560 pilgrims are still in the country with 304,897 of them in Makkah and 138,663 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims – 3,464,929 – travelled to the Kingdom by air, while 392,632 entered by land and 34,993 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (949,895), followed by Indonesia (633,253), India (408,495), Yemen (206,980), Egypt (204327), Malaysia (200,873), Turkey (183,164), Algeria (138,092), and Bangladesh (99,629).
The weekly data also included 8,441 males and 1,738 females working within Umrah companies and institutions.