Hajj 2023: Airlift to Saudi Arabia begins May
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 2023 hajj exercise would begin May 21, 2023.
Besides, the commission has announced a total sum of N2.9 million and N2.8 million as final Hajj fare for this year.
Addressing heads of state hajj boards and private operators on Friday at the commission’s Hajj House, Abuja, NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikirullah Hassan said pilgrims flying from Yola and Maiduguri would pay N2, 890, 000 while those flying from other northern states would pay N2, 919, 000. 00 only.
Similarly, NAHCON pegged fare for pilgrims travelling from Cross River at N2, 943, 000. 00, while Osun will pay N2, 983, 000. 00 and others from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states, would pay N2, 999, 000. 000.
However, Hassan disclosed that pilgrims from the South South and South East are expected to pay N2, 968, 000. 00. He said pilgrims from Edo state will pay N2, 968, 000. 00, while those from Ekiti and Ondo will pay N2, 880, 000, 000.
The NAHCON boss said the difference in the cost is due to the different cost of the airfare component of the fare and distance of various locations to Saudi Arabia.
The NAHCON boss also disclosed the approval and selection of seven Airlines including local and international carriers to transport Nigerian pilgrims to Hajj 2023.
The selected Airlines are Air Peace, Azman Air, Flynas, Aero contractors, Max Air, Arik Air and Value Jet Air.
According to him, the first four Airlines are expected to transport pilgrims from the 36 states, FCT and the armed forces, while Arik and Value jet airlines would provide chatter service to pilgrims travelling through private tour operators.
He also said the commission after meeting with state chief executives of pilgrim’s boards and agencies agreed that portal for registration of those paying through the Hajj Savings Scheme will be closed today.
He added that the meeting agreed that all intending pilgrims must complete payment of their Hajj fare by April 21.
Saudi Arabian authorities have allocated 95, 000 slots to Nigeria which is more than double the allocation for last year’s Hajj.