Saudi authorities to facilitate immigration process for Haj pilgrims at Karachi Airport

According to a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson, the Haj flights under the Road to Makkah project will commence on May 9 and conclude on June 8.

The Saudi authorities will provide immigration facilities at Karachi airport to over 16,000 Haj pilgrims under the Road to Makkah project, as revealed on Friday. This project exempts intending pilgrims from the immigration process at Saudi airports.

According to a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson, the Haj flights under the Road to Makkah project will commence on May 9 and conclude on June 8. Saudi staff will have access to eight counters and equipment in the international departure satellite area of Karachi Airport.

The spokesperson clarified that the Road to Makkah project at Karachi Airport is specifically designed for government-sponsored Haj pilgrims, totalling over 16,000. An additional 15,000 pilgrims going to perform Haj through private operators from Karachi airport will not be part of this project.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate five Haj flights from Sukkur and 21 flights from Quetta, all transiting through Karachi airport.

A meeting was held at Jinnah International Airport to discuss the arrangements for the upcoming Haj, focusing on the Road to Makkah project. The meeting, chaired by Airport Manager Erfan Khan, was attended by representatives from airlines, ground handling agencies, border health services, the Airport Security Force, Federal Investigation Agency, Customs, and Anti-Narcotics Force.

During the meeting, the agencies at Jinnah International Airport reaffirmed their commitment to providing complete support to the pilgrims. The discussions focused on the procedures involved in the different stages of the Haj pilgrims’ stay at the airport, starting from their arrival at the terminal to their departure, following Saudi immigration formalities in the international departure satellite area.

The airport manager stressed the importance of providing a seamless experience for the pilgrims and urged all agencies to treat and welcome Haj pilgrims as honoured guests. Deputy Airport Manager Saif-ur-Rehman requested airlines to submit their Haj flight schedules and aircraft types promptly for efficient parking bay planning.

Additionally, security personnel were encouraged to expedite luggage checks. The collaborative efforts of the CAA and airport administration in managing the Road to Makkah project were commended by Director Haj Karachi Imtiaz A. Shah.