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National

September 3, 2018

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Shaheen Air brings back 216 stranded pilgrims

KARACHI: Shaheen Air first Haj flight carrying 216 pilgrims, who were stranded in Madina for two days, landed in Karachi early Sunday, Geo News reported. A day earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority had granted a special permission to Shaheen Air International to operate flights from Saudi Arabia as part of its Haj operation.

The permission came after 350 pilgrims were stranded at the Madina airport as CAA refused to extend the airline’s regular public transport licence. On Friday, CAA had asked the airline to instead arrange flights of alternative airlines for the return of pilgrims.

The aviation authority had said the airline’s public transport licence, which is renewed every three months, expired on August 30. “There is no aircraft available on the airline’s inventory,” it added. CAA also said the airline has outstanding dues of Rs1.4 billion and legal action is being taken against it. Further, the Authority advised passengers to remain cautious in their dealings with the airline. Following this, a Shaheen Air spokesperson said they had to cancelled a scheduled flight to bring back the pilgrims. CAA had ensured earlier that there will be no hurdle in bringing back the pilgrims, he added.

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