LAHORE – The PIA has completed its post-Haj operation on Friday by transporting back about 100,000 pilgrims with 85 per cent flights arriving on time, claimed a spokesman on Friday.

He said the last Haj flight PK-3662 arrived in Quetta early Friday morning. The PIA carried 83,000 pilgrims through 196 flights to Pakistan, out of which 1989 were flown back to Rangoon by 4 chartered flights while over 15,000 travelled through schedule flights.

The airline’s 21 haj flights brought back 10,353 pilgrims to Karachi, 17385 through 35 flights to Islamabad, 16,783 through 34 flights to Lahore and 13,973 pilgrims to Peshawar through 43 post haj flights.

PIA carried back 13,275 pilgrims to Quetta by 41 post-Haj flights, 7,006 pilgrims to Multan by 14 flights and 3,491 pilgrims to Sialkot by 7 post-Haj flights.

PIA Managing Director Muhammad Junaid Yunus said overcrowding at Jeddah Haj Terminal where 80,000 to 100,000 passengers arrived at the same time for their return journey to other countries through 74 different international airlines cause’s initial delays in departures of flights due to security checks, immigration formalities etc. Besides, as per Saudi law an airline may be penalized and is not allowed to take off without the booked flight passenger.

He appreciated the airline employees for the success of smooth travel arrangements for about 100,000 pilgrims without any major problem through sheer team work in this mega operation.