Shaheen Air brings back 216 stranded pilgrims from Saudi Arabia

Shaheen Air’s first Hajj flight carrying 216 pilgrims, who were stranded in Madina for two days, landed in Karachi early Sunday.
A day earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had granted a special permission to Shaheen Air International to operate flights from Saudi Arabia as part of its Hajj 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 that 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 cancel a scheduled flight to bring back Hajj pilgrims.
CAA had ensured earlier that no hurdle will come in bringing back pilgrims, the spokesperson added.