It was welcomed by a water-gun salute
A special Pakistan International Airline flight landed in Syria’s Damascus after 22 long years.
The airplane was carrying 322 pilgrims. The national carrier was welcomed with a water gun salute at the Damascus airport. Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and PIA CEO Arshad Malik were on board as well.
According to Malik, PIA’s aim is to promote religious tourism and restore relations with Syria.
Alhamdolillah, After 22 years, #PIA landed in #Damascus, with #pilgrims with an aim to promote religious tourism & restore relations with Syria in line with the vision of @ImranKhanPTI & @GovtofPakistan. Salute to Amb Air Mshl Saeed M Khan for his great support long live PIA pic.twitter.com/yJgNJZb6jw— Air Marshal Arshad Malik (@amarshadmalik) September 18, 2021
The transport minister of the city lauded the development and said that the next step will be to convert these special flights into regularly scheduled flights.
The aircraft returned to Pakistan on Saturday.
Earlier, on Ashura, the airline decided to run special flights to Najaf. The decision was taken to facilitate pilgrims who travel to Iraq during Muharram.
In July, a private airline company in Iraq began direct flights to Pakistan. The first flight from Najaf to Karachi took off on July 16. Flights from Baghdad are being operated as well.