In a First, PIA to Charge Private Hajj Pilgrims in Dollars

For the first time in its history, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to charge pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia under a private Hajj scheme airfare in US dollars.

The News reported that pilgrims from the Southern and Northern regions will likely pay $810 to $1,100 and $860 to $1,150 in airfare, respectively.

PIA had previously announced plans to charge airfare in dollars about a year and a half ago, but the plan was shelved after Saudi Arabia imposed Hajj restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline believes that the move will eliminate rate disparities because its tickets are also sold internationally.

Pakistan has been allocated a quota of 81,132 pilgrims who will be able to perform the annual Hajj this year, according to Saudi Arabia. Out of the total allocation, 37,000 people will participate in the government-sponsored hajj, while the rest will pay for private services.

During the Hajj season, the national airline is expected to transport around 14,000 government-sponsored pilgrims and around 16,000 private pilgrims.

The airline announced last week that it will begin Hajj flight operations on May 31.

“From May 31 to August 13, PIA’s flight operations will continue with 297 flights,” the airline said in a tweet.

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