Pakistan scales up Hajj 2022 preparations

By: News Desk      Published: 02:33 PM, 2 Dec, 2021
Pakistan scales up Hajj 2022 preparations
File photo.

Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has paced up preparations for the next year’s Hajj as Saudi Arabia resumed Umrah-only flights for approved vaccinated people, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.

Ministry of Religious Affairs has set up meetings with the banks and airlines to finalize the future strategy for Hajj 2022.

Sources claimed that Hajj Ministry is waiting for the signing of a formal agreement with Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia.

The sources further claimed that Hajj Ministry DG and Foreign Office are trying to contact KSA Hajj Ministry for finalization of the Hajj 2022 plan.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has already unveiled its schedule for operating direct flights to Saudi Arabia 1 after the Kingdom decided to allow direct flights from the country from December 1. As per the schedule, the PIA administration will operate 35 weekly flights to Saudi Arabia. These flights will cover Saudi cities of Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Damam and Al-Qassim and will take off from Lahore, Multan, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia exempts vaccinated Umrah pilgrims from quarantine

The PIA has also launched its booking operation for Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has granted permission to six countries including Pakistan to operate direct flights into the Kingdom.

Pertinent to note that it is mandatory for Pakistani travellers to undergo five-day quarantine after landing in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi authorities have decided to withdraw a ban on flights from six countries — Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Bra­­zil and Vietnam — and passengers from these countries will no longer be requ­ired to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a third country.

A directive, issued by the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Civil Aviation to all airlines operating in the kingdom’s airports, said: “Allowing direct entry to the kingdom from the Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Federal Republic of Brazil, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Arab Republic of Egypt, (and) India, without the need to stay 14 days outside these countries before entering the kingdom.

“Institutional quarantine procedures must be applied for a period of 05 days, regardless of passengers’ immunisation status outside the kingdom, with the continued application of exceptions issued regarding some groups in this regard...”

Reporter Gohar Mehsud