Pakistan’s national carrier to replace music with Quranic verses in flights to Saudi Arabia
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Pakistan’s national carrier to replace music with Quranic verses in flights to Saudi Arabia

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has banned in-flight entertainment for pilgrims travelling to Jeddah and Madina and will only play Quranic verses and naats for them, an official of the national carrier said on Thursday.

world Updated: Jan 17, 2019 19:33 IST
Pakistan,Quran,Saudi Arabia
The decision was taken “in light of peoples’ sentiments”, Pakistan International Airlines spokesman Mashhood Tajawar told PTI.(Picture for representation)

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has banned in-flight entertainment for pilgrims travelling to Jeddah and Madina and will only play Quranic verses and naats for them, an official of the national carrier said on Thursday.

The decision was taken “in light of peoples’ sentiments,” PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajawar told PTI.

Cash-strapped PIA has been running into huge financial losses. Its current liabilities stand at Rs 431 billion.

For years, the airline with 18,000-plus employees and a fleet of 32 airplanes has only been adding billions to its loss sheets.

“The decision to play Quranic verses and naats (recitation of poetry praising the Prophet) during taxing and landing for flights to Jeddah and Madina has been taken in light of people’s sentiments,” Tajawar said.

No other music will be available in the in-flight entertainment system, he said, adding that the impression that the PIA has banned music on all routes is incorrect.

“This is only for Jeddah and Madina as the people go there on holy journey. Therefore playing music/songs on these routes is not appropriate,” Tajwar said, adding that passengers of other flights will have access to the in-flight entertainment system available on the aircraft.

The PIA has also decided to welcome passengers on board with the Qaseeda Burda Sharif (Islamic hymn) playing in the background instead of soft music.

“A rendition of the Qaseeda Burda Sharif, a popular Islamic hymn, will be played while passengers board PIA airplanes for all domestic and international flights,” Tajwar said.

First Published: Jan 17, 2019 17:27 IST