LAHORE – The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to operate a direct weekly flight from Lahore to Madina from the next Umrah season, said a spokesman on Saturday.

He said that a direct flight from Madinah to Peshawar is also planned subject to availability of aircraft. It is worth mentioning here that currently PIA is operating three flights in a week from Pakistan to Madina including Karachi – Madina, Multan-Karachi-Madina-and Islamabad- Madina. Spokesman said that revenue on this sector enhanced to 20 million Riyals in 2011. He said that from Madina some seven airlines operate and besides PIA these include Saudi, Qatar, Emirates, Gulf Air and Turkish Airline etc.

Last year, 11,992 passengers traveled to Pakistan by PIA from Madina and this year this number has increased to 13,068.

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.

The PIA has, so far carried over 33,000 Hajjis to Pakistan on board 79 Hajj flights while over 5,700 Hajjis have travelled through the PIA regular scheduled flights to Pakistan. The airline’s Post Hajj Operation is continuing with on time departures from Jeddah to Pakistan.