Ex-Interim Pak PM Soomro's "pilgrimage" cost PIA 28 lakh dlrs

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Lahore, May 10 : Former Pakistan caretaker prime minister Muhammadmian Soomro flew in a Boeing 777 for pilgrimage to Mecca, rendering a total loss of 28 lakh dollars (more than 14 crore Pakistani rupees) to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which it could have earned if used for commercial purposes during the four days it remained in-service for Soomro, a civil aviation expert has revealed.

The ex-Interim Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia was "private", as he was not invited by the Saudi Arabian authorities, said the expert.

Boeing 777 was used with VVIP configuration, sleeping beds, bathroom, conference area, sitting and dining room facilities. The said aircraft was in a PIA hangar at least 48 hours before the "Royal pilgrimage" to Mecca, undergoing checks and configuration changes, reported The Nation.

The flight from Pakistan to Jeddah is less than four hours, but the aircraft remained parked at Jeddah airport for four days while the former PM sought repentance from the Almighty Allah, the paper quoted the aviation expert as saying.

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