Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was granted special permission by Saudi Arabia to operate 21 additional flights, on a weekly basis, between the two countries, reported Geo News on Thursday.
According to the spokesperson of the national flag carrier, PIA had requested the Saudi authorities to allow additional flights, keeping in view the urgent need of many Pakistanis to reach Saudi Arabia for the renewal of their Iqamas.
He said with an increase in the number of flights PIA will be able to transport 25,500 passengers from Pakistan before the 30th of this month – which is the deadline for many ensuring their presence in the kingdom.
On Wednesday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfikar Bukhari had asked Saudi Arabia to increase flights and extend Iqamas for Pakistani workers.
In a virtual meeting with Saudi Vice Minister for Labour Abdullah bin Naseer Abuthnain, the special assistant had asked to further extend the Iqama expiration date to the 30th of next month.
He had said the lack of availability of flights has also resulted in exorbitant airfares.
On the occasion, Saudi Deputy Minister for Labour, Abdullah bin Nasir Abu Al-Sani had promised to raise the issue of flights and visas at the weekly joint ministerial meeting.