JEDDAH - PIA post-Haj operation entered into 6th day on Thursday transporting more than 1,600 Hujjaj to different cities of Pakistan, said chief Haj coordinator and Director Corporate Planning PIA, Shahnawaz Rehman.
Briefing the media persons visiting Saudi Arabia to monitor the post-Haj operation arrangements made by national flag carrier, he said PIA had so far transported 1,4000 Hujjaj to Pakistan through 38 flights.
Out of 16 only three flights were delayed by two to four hours and all remaining flights flew on time, he added.
“It was possible all due to the collective efforts of PIA staff deputed at Jeddah Airport, it is a teamwork,” said Mr Rehman.
Confronting the issues faced by Hujjaj, he was of the view that odd size packing of the luggage by Pakistani Hujjaj proved main hurdle in smooth running of the post-Haj operation. Most of the Hujjaj were unable to fill their disembarkation cards which also created problems, he said.
Qazi Azhar Mehmood, a pilgrim at Jeddah Airport Haj terminal, said there was no problem. The only thing he demanded from PIA was transportation of Hujjaj from Haji camp to airport during pre-Haj operation.
Another pilgrim, Muhammad Sajid Ali from Mardan, complained about the poor food stuff provided to him by Saudi authorities during his stay in Makkah.
The airline has so far, transported over 14,000 Hujjaj to different cities of Pakistan through 27 post-Haj and 11 scheduled flights. Referring to punctuality of post-Haj flights, Rehman said out of these flights, six had departed from Jeddah Haj Terminal even before the scheduled time while a few flights had to face minor delays.
He further said that PIA Managing Director Muhammad Junaid Yunus was in constant communication with PIA Haj team comprising senior officials supervising the Haj operation from Jeddah to Pakistan. PIA chief Haj coordinator appreciated the performance of PIA officers and staff deputed at Jeddah Haj Terminal.
“All departments especially passenger handling services, engineering, flight operations, marketing and IT have played their roles in making the post-Haj flights departures from Jeddah and their arrival at major cities of Pakistan on time,” he said.
He said PIA passenger handling unit and PIA scouts deputed at Jeddah Haj terminal were providing information, guidance and assistance to returning pilgrims at the airport.
“Hujjaj are being assisted in filling immigration cards. They are being given directions to help them to board on the aircraft”.
PIA is making all efforts in providing best services to returning pilgrims, he said.
Among the other senior officials deputed at Jeddah to supervise the post-Haj operation include deputy chief haj coordinator PIA Captain Anwar Adil, Country Manager PIA-Saudi Arabia Shahbaz Ahmed and General Manager passenger handling services PIA Amir Bashir.