ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would operate 48 flights weekly to Saudi Arabia after obtaining permission from the kingdom to increase the number of flights to the Gulf country. PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan announced the development in a press statement, acknowledging the efforts of Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bilal Akbar and PIA’s Country Manager. He said that the number of flights have been increased from 33 to 48 in line with the directives of PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik The spokesman said eight flights each would be operated to Dammam and Madina, nine to Riyadh and 23 to Jeddah, aimed at taking the maximum number of overseas Pakistanis back to their workplaces after coronavirus-related restrictions eased. The PIA chief said the national flag-carrier had always been at the forefront in meeting the travel needs of Pakistanis. “We will get permission for more flights from the Saudi government, if needed,” he said.