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Islamabad: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has obtained permission from Saudi authorities to operate increased number of flights to the Kingdom, following which the national flag carrier would be operating 48 flights weekly between different destinations of the two countries.

Pakistan's ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bilal Akbar made special efforts in getting the permission, while PIA's Country Manager also called on a senior official of Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation Ali Rajab in that regard, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said in a press statement.

In the light of directives of PIA's Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik, he said, the number of flights had been increased from 33 to 48.

Elaborating, the spokesman said eight flights each would be operated to Dammam and Madina, nine to Riyadh, and 23 to Jeddah, aimed at taking maximum overseas Pakistanis back to their workplaces after the ease of coronavirus related restrictions.

The PIA chief said the national flag carrier had always been at the forefront in meeting the travel needs of Pakistanis. "We will get permission for more flights from the Saudi government if needed," he said.