A sub-committee of the Standing Committee of Senate on Religious Affairs has suggested on Wednesday to PIA to cut down the fares charged from the Hajj pilgrims by Rs.50,000, as per the reports of local media.
Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim, who led the meeting said that their focus is to reduce the amount charged for the Hajj 2020 expenses to an extreme extent for facilitating the Hajj pilgrims.
He also asked the PIA officials the reason behind selling the Hajj ticket at Rs.140,000 when Rs.60,000 is being charged for the Umrah ticket.
The general manager PIA to this said that they are presently charging Rs.73,000 for the Umrah ticket and since the plane carrying the Hajj pilgrims had to return empty according to the guidelines of the Saudi authorities, hence its cost increases.
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He also said that their planes had to fly from ten different locations throughout the nation during the Hajj flight operations. He further added that the government has no role in determining the fares of the airlines during the Hajj operations.
An additional secretary said that during the meeting that acting on the suggestions of the federal cabinet, the PIA has decreased the ticket of the airline for Hajj by US$50.
He further informed that the Hajj tickets are available under the open sky policy at nearly Rs.100,000 and suggested the PIA authorities reduce the fares by Rs.13,000.
The senate body also asked to remove Rs.3,500 service charges. The convener said that if their recommendations are abided then the Hajj expenses could be reduced down up to Rs.50,000.