LAHORE - The first private Haj flight carrying 161 pilgrims departed for Medina Munawwarah from Allama Iqbal International Airport here on Saturday.

Federal Secretary for Religious Affairs Khalid Masood Chaudhry and Lahore Haj Director Saeed Ahmad Malik saw off the pilgrims.

Talking to media on this occasion, the secretary said that all possible efforts have been made to provide best facilities to the pilgrims. He said that different facilities like air conditioned rooms, comfortable travelling, quality food and others have been ensured for the pilgrims.

Lahore Haj Director said that special attention has been paid on the training of the pilgrims so that they could perform Haj in efficient manner.

He said that pilgrims have been appealed to offer special dua for the peace, progress and prosperity of the country.

PIA pre-haj operation

PIA begins its pre-Haj operation Saturday as its two flights took off from Karachi and Islamabad to Madinah, said a spokesman.

The first pre-Hajflights are PK7001 from Karachi and PK 7003 from Islamabad.

The airline will transport more than 60,000 intending pilgrims through approximately 250 flights to Jeddah and Madinah from Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, Sialkot, Multan and Faisalabad.

The PIA COO and other senior officials Qureshi saw off the passengers of first pre-Hajflight from Karachi while  Noor Abbas, Adviser to CEO PIA and other officials saw off intending pilgrims from Islamabad.

PIA will transport nearly 13,152 intending pilgrims from Islamabad, 12,456 from Lahore, 8,559 from Peshawar, 10,124 from Karachi, 3,787 from Sialkot, 4903 from Multan and 1,122 intending pilgrims from Faisalabad. More than 2,600 intending pilgrims will be transported from Sukkur and Rahim Yar Khan. The PIApre-Hajoperation will conclude on August 15 and the post haj operation will commence from 27th of August and will conclude on 25 of September.