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PIA’s pre-Hajj mission takes off

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced on Saturday that its pre-Hajj operation will start on May 21 and continue until August 12, during which the airline will transport 38,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. The operation will commence from 1st Zilqad till 4th Zilhajj, 1444 corresponding to Gregorian date 21st May till 22nd June 2023 (subject to moon sighting), according to the PIA Hajj circular.

For the second year in a row, the national flag carrier has decided to charge fares in US dollars, and the fares for pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia under the private Hajj scheme have been fixed from $870 to $1180 for the Southern region that includes Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur, and Hyderabad.

This decision was taken after the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony decided to allocate a 50% special quota in the Government Hajj Scheme-2023 for pilgrims who will pay in US dollars. This move was made due to the country’s acute shortage of the greenback in the face of reduced forex reserves.

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