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Airlift of 2023 Hajj pilgrims begins May 21

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
20 January 2023   |   5:14 am
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has released Hajj flight schedules for pilgrims. A statement, yesterday, indicated that Saudi airports would open for first flight carrying 2023 Hajj pilgrims on Sunday, May 21, 2023 and close for arrivals of Hajj flights on Thursday, June 22, 2023. According to the flight schedule, departure of…

Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca / AFP PHOTO / Bandar Al-DANDANI

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has released Hajj flight schedules for pilgrims.

A statement, yesterday, indicated that Saudi airports would open for first flight carrying 2023 Hajj pilgrims on Sunday, May 21, 2023 and close for arrivals of Hajj flights on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

According to the flight schedule, departure of Hajj flights with pilgrims from Saudi Arabia will commence on July 2 and end on August 2.

GACA advised all participating countries to submit operating requirements before the end of the working day of February 20.

Although, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) recently placed advert for application and selection of carriers for the 2023 Hajj, the commission and other participating missions have less than 30 days to conclude necessary aviation protocol and forward their schedules to the Saudi authorities.

The Saudi Arabia Flynas, Azman Air and Max Air scaled through the rigorous process and finally shortlisted for the Hajj operations.

Over two million pilgrims are expected to perform the Hajj following the cancellation of COVID-19 protocols and restoration of full capacity. Nigeria also secured its full allocation of 95,000 against 43,003 approved in 2022.

Meanwhile, NAHCON has sealed collaboration with Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to deepen economic ties.

During bilateral talks between the two parties at the Jeddah headquarters of the bank, Chairman of NAHCON, who led the delegation, Alh. Zikrullah Hassan, stressed the need for support and intervention of the bank in the areas of employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The Assistant Director, Information and Publication at NAHCON, Mousa Ubandawaki, stated that the chairman equally solicited IsDB support in the area of capacity-building, and facilitating the full take off of Hajj Institute of Nigeria (HIN) and supply of medical equipment to NAHCON’s clinics.

The Deputy Coordinator General, IsDB, Dr. Umar Adiya, reassured the bank’s readiness to sustain support to Nigeria. He added that the country had always been part of the bank’s partners and would be accorded a place of priority.

Adiya further stated the need to explore sustainable future of the Hadaya project if the bank must serve the purpose of its establishment.

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