Rawalpindi - President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Syed Asad Mashhadi on Thursday strongly criticised Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Umrah operation, saying the tickets were being sold at very high prices to the devotees.

He said that the government had reduced petroleum prices twice but there was no relief for Umrah pilgrims travelling on national airline. He said that the government issued directions to all public transporters to reduce fares to provide relief to masses but when it came to Umrah pilgrims; the state-run airline increased fares. He demanded of the government to end the monopoly of PIA and other private airlines and facilitate the masses. He was exchanging these views with the Umrah tour operators in a meeting held here at the RCCI.

Asad said that in month of Rabi-ul-Awal majority of Muslims wished to travel to the holy land of Makkah and Madina and during this peak season unavailability of seats in national airlines was beyond comprehension.