Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport completes post-hajj operation successfully. AIIAP received last Hajj flight on 11th August.
— PCAAOfficial (@official_pcaa) August 13, 2022
Pakistan launched its post-Hajj flight operations in July to bring back over 83,000 pilgrims, with the first flight of the national carrier arriving in Lahore from Jeddah with 213 passengers, a spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Thursday.
Up to one million pilgrims from around the world performed the annual Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, after Saudi Arabia lifted coronavirus restrictions for the first time in two years. Pilgrims were required to be vaccinated and under 65 years of age.
The kingdom allotted Pakistan a quota of 83,132 pilgrims this year, out of which 34,453 people availed the government’s Hajj scheme while over 48,000 performed Hajj through private operators.
“The first Hajj flight PK-740 has arrived in Lahore from Jeddah with 213 pilgrims on board,” Abdullah Hafeez Khan, a spokesperson for PIA said.
The pilgrims were received by the station manager and other officials of PIA, he added.
“PIA will bring back over 28,000 pilgrims to Pakistan on more than 154 post-Hajj flights,” he said.
Of these 28,000 pilgrims, Khan said 17,200 had availed the government’s Hajj scheme while 10,800 had gone on the pilgrimage through private operators. He said PIA’s post-Hajj flight operation would conclude on August 13.
Pilgrims who performed the Hajj through the government scheme were facilitated with boarding cards and baggage before arriving at the airport, Khan said.
“We have started a city check-in facility for the first time in both Makkah and Madinah. Their [pilgrims] boarding cards and luggage check-in will be done at their residence in groups with the help of the Hajj mission officials,” he said.
Khan said the facility would save time for pilgrims, who previously had to arrive at the airport 12 hours before their flights departed.