NAHCON airlifts over 63,000 pilgrims to Nigeria in 3 weeks
Three weeks into the commencement of the In-bound airlift into Nigeria, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has airlifted over 63, 033 of the 73,000 pilgrims to Nigeria in 159 shuttles. The second phase operation began on July 4, 2023 with the airlift of 387 Sokoto pilgrims by Flynas after the completion of the symbolic stoning of the Jamrats.
The operation which was initially bedeviled by non-provision of slots to many of the Airlines except the Flynas which enjoyed considerable ‘home advantage’ from the General Authority on Civil Aviation (GACA) but it later picked up with the intervention of NAHCON CHAIRMAN/ceo, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan and the highest Authority in Nigeria to resolve the logjam. Since then, the airlift has been progressing smoothly and steadily.
Meanwhile, the NAHCON Chairman has commended the Saudi Authorities and the Airlines for their tenacity and commitment to ensuring that the operation was conducted smoothly and successfully. He urged everyone to sustain the tempo so that the operation can be concluded in record time.
“With the pace at which we are going, hopefully, we would accomplish the airlift on our target date. I therefore urge the pilgrims, officials and the Airlines to sustain the tempo and to continue to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the operations, so that we can successfully achieve the objectives and obtain Hajj Mabrur.”
The Commission has fixed August 3, 2023 as the target date for the completion of the in-bound flight to Nigeria by the Airlines – Max Air, Flynas, Aero Contractors, Air Peace and Azman- the officially designated carriers for the 2023 Hajj airlifts.
Recall that the out-bound operation spanned a month with the inaugural flight held on May 25, 2023 at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja with the airlift of Nassarawa State Pilgrims and concluded on June 24 with the airlift of Niger State pilgrims and remainders of pilgrims from Kaduna and Kebbi states.
Also, the Commission successfully achieved the feat of ensuring that over 98 percent of Nigerian pilgrims visited Madinah in the first phase of the operation which marked the first time in the commission’s history. The remaining two per cent which is about 2000 pilgrims have also visited the holy city of Madinah, thereby completing this recommended rite of hajj.
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