ISLAMABAD: The first Hajj flight SV-727 will leave here on Sunday for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia kicking off the month-long pre-Hajj operation to airlift 28,072 intending pilgrims to holy land for Hajj-2014 from Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf will see
off the intending pilgrims at the inaugural flight.
Besides Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Saudia, Shaheen Air, Air
Blue, Air Arabia and other Middle East based airlines will airlift intending pilgrims at their regular flights along with other international bound passengers.
In this regard, the Management of Civil Aviation Authority Islamabad
Airport has finalized the pre departure arrangements of intending pilgrims.
According to Spokesman of CAA, Mubarak Shah, 14 special Hajj flights
will be operated by PIA. About 60% passengers will be air lifted through Hajj tour operators and remaining about 40% passengers will depart through regular Hajj scheme.
This year intending pilgrims will be sent to holy land by the regular flights also, therefore 24 hours operation will continue at the airport.
Aftab Asif, Senior APS Officer is designated as officer incharge Hajj along with a team of CAA staff to man the Hajj operation in shifts on round the clock basis.
The team will extend all efforts to facilitate the intending pilgrims in proper and befitting manner.
The Spokesman said that separate place for prayer and wearing of Ahram is being made. Announcement and video films regarding hajj will be aired and shown to provide basic information of Manasak-e-Hajj.
PIA scouts and staff of Ministry of Religious Affairs will also be available to guide and facilitate the passenger leading to sacred land.
Medical team equipped with first aid and ambulance, doctor and para medics will be available.
The CAA has directed the concerned airlines to be in touch with passenger in case of delay of Hajj flight through phone and SMS in order to avoid waiting and inconvenience to the intending pilgrims while the CAA flight inquiry 114 will update the information of Hajj flights efficiently.
Station Managers of all the concerned airlines, ground handling agencies, officers of religious Ministry, Immigration, Pakistan Custom, Health, Anti Narcotics Force, ASF and Traffic Police and CAA officers will be available to facilitate the intending pilgrims.
Air Marshal (R) Muhammad Yousaf, Director General CAA has instructed the CAA Management to extend maximum facilities to the intending pilgrims at all the airports and make sure that flights should depart on time and safety standard should not be compromised.
Mubarak Shah requested the general public to visit airport especially during the Hajj operation in minimum numbers inorder to avoid congestions/security concerns.
The visitors and their vehicles will undergo through all security checks and heavy vehicles are not allowed to enter the airport premises.