ISLAMABAD: The pre-Hajj-flight operation of the national flag carrier would start on June 6 (Monday) to transport intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for performing the religious obligation, PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said on Tuesday. “PIA will start its Hajj operation from June 6 that will continue till July 3. The first flight, carrying 329 intending pilgrims, will depart at 4 a.m. from Islamabad for Madina-tul-Munawwara,” he said in a news release while sharing details of the pre and post-Hajj-flight operations. He said around 15,000 intending pilgrims would perform the pilgrimage under the government scheme, while 18,000 under the private scheme. The spokesman said the one-month post-Hajj flight operation would commence on July 14 and continue till August 13, adding that “the PIA’s overall Hajj operation will consist of 331 flights that will be operated at five major airports including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Quetta.” On special directives of Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, he said the PIA’s CEO would himself supervise to ensure timely and smooth conduct of the Hajj flight operations. The spokesman said the minister had directed to arrange the flight operations keeping in view the comfort of intending pilgrims, advising the PIA to extend all possible facilities to intending pilgrims considering it their national and religious duty.