LAHORE – Although the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is being run without a managing director for the past 15 days, the punctuality rate of the current pre-Haj operation has been unprecedented.

A PIA senior officer said the national flag carrier had so far transported about 45,000 Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia through more than 80 flights, none of which was delayed because of technical reasons.

He said the credit for this went to Acting Managing Director Capt (r) Junaid younis and the Haj managers appointed at all the international airports. Such a punctuality rate during Haj operation had been witnessed after several years, a PIA spokesman claimed.

As concerns the appointment of the new PIA managing director, sources disclosed that three people were in the run: former PIA managing director, Ijaz Haroon; former PIA marketing director, Jalal Haider; and a business tycoon from Lahore, Ehsan Ashraf. Sources disclosed that the orders for the appointment of Shahzada Ehsan Ashraf were issued by PM Pervaiz Ashraf, but he was stopped from taking charge of the office by the Defence Ministry.