The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has assured that all registered Nigerian pilgrims will be airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s hajj saying more aircraft have been injected into the fleet of the airlines contracted by the Commission to airlift pilgrims.
The chairman/chief executive officer of the Commission, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, stated this at a media briefing held at the Hajj House Abuja on Thursday. There have been reports that some pilgrims may not be airlifted to the Holy Land as the deadline for airlifting gets closer.
The NAHCON boss however said more aircraft have been injected into the fleet of the airlines contracted by the Commission to airlift all Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy Land by July 4, 2022. He said the Commission has worked out flight schedules that will accommodate every pilgrim going for the holy pilgrimage.
“Our pilgrims need not worry because we have made provision for more aircraft with enough space to accommodate and airlift all of them to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by July 4, 2022. These airlines have added to their fleet and this is to make sure that our pilgrims are all airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s hajj.
“Preparations are in top gear to airlift every registered Nigerian pilgrim to Saudi Arabia by Monday, July 4, 2022. We have worked out flight schedules to accommodate every pilgrim as you know that three airlines; Azman, Max Air (from Nigeria) and Fly Nas (from Saudi) were contracted for pilgrims’ airlift to Saudi Arabia and they all have added more fleet to their aircraft.
“We expect to finish the majority of the flight by the 3rd of this month and in case of any eventuality by the 4th of this month as well. So that’s where we stand. We have now in excess of about 22,000 pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our mandate is to airlift all Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj and that is what we are doing,” he said.
The NAHCON boss also added he had met with the private tour operators on how their pilgrims will be transported to the Holy Land. He said discussions are ongoing with the Saudi government as all avenues within the ambit of the law will be resolved to give the tour operators and their pilgrims a soft landing.
Tribune Online recalled that Nigeria was allocated 43,008 slots for this year’s hajj after the COVID-19 pandemic stalled pilgrims from going to the Holy Land in 2020 and 2021.
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