216 Hajj pilgrims stranded in Madina return via Shaheen Air | Pakistan Today

216 Hajj pilgrims stranded in Madina return via Shaheen Air

KARACHI: Shaheen Air’s fist Hajj flight carrying 216 pilgrims who were stranded in the city of Madina for two days landed in Karachi on Sunday morning.

 Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had previously granted a special permission to Shaheen Air International (SAI) to fly to and from Saudi Arabia under Hajj programme.

The permission was granted after 350 pilgrims were stranded at Madina airport while the CAA refused to extend the public transport licence of SAI.

On Friday, the SAI was directed to arrange flights of different airlines to ensure pilgrims return to the country.

The license is renewed every three months and expired on August 30, explained the CAA.

“There is no aircraft available on the airline’s inventory,” read a statement released by the authority, adding that legal action is being taken against SAI as it has not paid Rs1.4 billion in dues.

Passengers have been advised by the CAA to exercise caution with reference to private airline as well.

An SAI spokesperson explained that a scheduled flight had to be cancelled to ensure return of the pilgrims, adding that CAA had fully cooperated in this regard.

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