KARACHI – The Pakistan International Airlines’ first Haj flight, carrying 503 intending pilgrims, left for Jeddah from Karachi hajj terminal on Thursday. According to spokesperson for the national flag carrier, the first flight, PK-2001, took off from the Karachi airport at 14:30 pm.  Intending pilgrims were seen off by PIA Managing Director Muhammad Junaid Yunus, PIA Flight Operations Director Captain Anwar Adil Shaikh, PIA Corporate Services Director Mamoon Rashid, CAA Airport Services Director Asif Bashir Ahmed and other senior officials.PIA Managing Director Muhammad Junaid Yunus greeted each intending pilgrim before boarding the aircraft, and ensured departure of the flight on scheduled time. He assured the pilgrims that the PIA Haj operation was performed with religious fervor and although meticulous arrangements were in place for providing traveling facilities, still if any difficulty was experienced by any of the pilgrims, they might approach him directly for resolution of their grievances.  On the occasion, the intending pilgrims prayed for the progress and prosperity of the national flag carrier. The intending pilgrims assured that they would also pray for the airline during the pilgrimage. The airline’s pre-Haj operation commenced from September 19, 2012 and has so far carried 3,500 intending pilgrims to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia through eight flights from Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. The PIA would be operating eight flights daily from these cities, The first pre-Haj flight from Multan would be on September 27 and from Sialkot on October 1. The pre-Haj flight operation will continue till October 20.­