ISLAMABAD: The first Hajj flight under the government scheme as part of the Road to Makkah project will depart from Islamabad today (Monday) followed by a series of flights from cities including Lahore.
The first flight will leave 3:30am on Monday and the second will depart from Islamabad at 8pm. It is expected that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will come to see off pilgrims for the second flight.
An AirBlue flight PA-467 will depart to Madina, Saudi Arabia from Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on Sunday at 1:55pm carrying 220 pilgrims.
Punjab’s governor, DG Religious Affairs department Dr Tahir Raza Bukhari, AIIP Manager and Air Blue officials will see off the first flight from Lahore.
From Multan, the first flight will depart at 4:30pm on Monday.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs said that flight operations from Faisalabad may be announced later.
All Peshawar flights have been set en route to Islamabad.
According to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, 32,000 pilgrims will be flown to Saudi Arabia via 106 Hajj flights.
The spokesperson said 42 flights will be operated from Islamabad under the Road to Makkah project. Hajj pilgrims are also being informed about the flights through the website and SMS on their mobile numbers.
The weeklong Hajj begins July 7. An estimated one million pilgrims are expected to undertake the pilgrimage this year, after drastically cut numbers during the pandemic. People over 65 years were not granted permission. Pilgrims must have three doses of a vaccine to be eligible, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said.