The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has decided to charge airfare in US Dollars from private Hajj pilgrims. According to the details, the national flag carrier has revealed the ticketing details for its Hajj operations, which are likely to begin from June 6.
The PIA airfares for the Hajj pilgrims from Southern region and Northern region are likely to remain in the range of $810 to $1,100 and $860 to $1,150, respectively, according to the national airline. However, PIA states that these airfares are exclusive of all applicable charges.
It is pertinent to mention that decision to charge Hajj pilgrims flying on a private scheme in US Dollars was taken one and a half years ago but it could not be implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, The session for finalizing the Hajj policy chaired by the secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs remained inconclusive.
PIA claims that charging airfares in US Dollars would help eliminate any discrepancy as its tickets were bought internationally. However, for the return ticket for the pilgrims travelling on the government scheme, PIA will charge a fixed amount of Rs. 181,000.
According to the details, PIA is expected to take around 14,000 pilgrims on the government quota and around 16,000 private pilgrims during this Hajj season. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has a quota of 81,000 pilgrims and normally the government takes 60% of the quota and allots the remaining to the private operators.
However, the Hajj operation, which was scheduled to being from May 31 to July 3, has been delayed for a week as the government is yet to announce the Hajj policy. Meanwhile, the post Hajj operation would run from July 14 to August 13.
Read more: Govt to Increase Gas Tariff by 50%.