PIA to Charge Private Hajj Pilgrims in Dollars

In a first, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to charge airfares in dollars from Hajj pilgrims flying on a private scheme.

According to media reports, the airfares would range from $810 to $1,100 for the pilgrims from the southern region and $860 to $1,150 for the northern region.

The national carrier had decided to charge fares in dollars a couple of years ago but delayed its implementation due to the flight restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline believes that the charging in dollars would eliminate discrepancy as its tickets were also being bought internationally.

On the other hand, the national airline will charge a fixed amount of Rs. 181,000 for the return ticket from the pilgrims traveling on the government scheme.

The PIA will operate 297 Hajj flights from eight major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Multan, Peshawar, and Quetta, to Jeddah and Medina. The flight operations were scheduled to start on 31 May but are facing a delay due to the pending announcement of the Hajj policy.

As per reports, the national flag carrier will take around 14,000 pilgrims on government quota and around 16,000 private pilgrims during this Hajj season. Pakistan has a quota of 81,000 pilgrims, and normally, the government takes 60 percent of the quota itself and allots the remaining to private operators.