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First batch of over 660 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan lands in Saudi Arabia

This year, around 179,210 Pakistanis are set to perform Hajj under both government and private schemes, with a month-long flight operation commencing on May 9.

JEDDAH: The first Hajj flights from Pakistan have arrived in Saudi Arabia, carrying pilgrims to Madinah.

The initial flight, PA-176, departed from Karachi to Madinah with 179 pilgrims on board. Following suit, the second flight, PF-754, also departed from Karachi, carrying 151 pilgrims to the holy city.

Joining the procession, Islamabad facilitated 200 pilgrims on their pilgrimage through a third flight, PA-276, from the capital to Madinah.

Meanwhile, Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport saw off its first Hajj flight, PK-717, bound for Madinah at 10:32 am after a slight delay due to a fire at the immigration counters. The flight carried 329 pilgrims.

A PIA Hajj flight is scheduled to depart from Multan for Madinah on May 10, while one from Quetta is set to take off on May 11 via Karachi. Sialkot will have a direct flight to Madinah departing on May 19, and Sukkur will facilitate pilgrims with a direct flight to Jeddah on May 27, extending the reach of pre-Hajj operations across the country.

This year, Hajj flights departing from Karachi are operating under the ‘Road to Makkah’ project, where immigration clearance for pilgrims is conducted at Karachi airport instead of upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. Eight immigration counters have been set up in the international departure lounge of Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.

Hajj flight operations from Pakistan will continue until June 10. According to the Religious Affairs Ministry’s earlier schedule, on the first day, 2,160 pilgrims will begin their spiritual journey through 11 flights.

During the first 15 days of flight operations, all flights will be directed to Madinah airport. From May 24 to June 9, the majority of flights will be directed to Jeddah Airport, facilitating the onward journey of pilgrims to the sacred sites.

On the first day, 680 pilgrims departed from Islamabad through three flights, while 330 pilgrims departed from Karachi via two flights. Additionally, 670 pilgrims commenced their pilgrimage from Lahore through three flights.

This year, around 179,210 Pakistanis are set to perform Hajj under both government and private schemes, with a month-long flight operation commencing on May 9.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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