KARACHI - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to operate a direct weekly flight from Madina to Lahore from the next Umrah season.

PIA District Sale Manager in Madina Shahid Hussain made this statement while talking to the visiting Pakistani media on Saturday.

He said that a direct flight from Madina to Peshawar was also planned subjected to availability of aircraft. Currently PIA was operating three flights in a week between Madina and Pakistan. Those include Madina-Karachi, Madinah-Karachi-Multan and Madina-Islamabad.

Shahid informed that the Madina office became online from last year that increased the revenue considerably as it was about 16 million Riyals when the Madina station was off line and enhanced to 20 million Riyals in 2011.

Further he said that the revenue of PIA’s Madina Station was 20.43 million last year whereas the revenue till October this year had reached to 22 million while the target for the year has been set at 26 million Riyals.

He said that some seven airlines were operating from Madina besides PIA that include Saudi, Qatar, Emirates, Gulf Air and Turkish Airline etc.

Last year, he said, 11,992 passengers travelled to Pakistan by PIA from Madina and this year this number had increased to 13,068. Shahid further informed that around 43,000 Hajjis from Madina would travel via bus to Jeddah from where they will take their flights to Pakistan. The Hajjis would be transported by Pakistan Hajj Mission in Saudi Arabia and we expect on time departures of Hujjaj by buses from Madina to Jeddah Hajj Terminal, he informed.

The PIA so far has carried over 33,000 Hajjis to Pakistan through 79 Hajj flights while over 5,700 hajjis have travelled through PIA regular scheduled flights to Pakistan.

The airline’s Post Hajj Operation was continued with on time departures from Jeddah to Pakistan.