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NAHCON assures complete airlift of pilgrims before deadline

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
20 June 2022   |   2:39 am
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has guaranteed the airlift of all intending pilgrims that have been registered for this year’s hajj before the expiration of the Saudi Arabia deadline.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

Kano pilgrims re-allocated to Max Air

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has guaranteed the airlift of all intending pilgrims that have been registered for this year’s hajj before the expiration of the Saudi Arabia deadline.

NAHCON Commissioner (Operations), Alh. Magaji Hardawa, gave the assurance, at the weekend, while fielding questions from journalists on the update on the pilgrims’ airlift.

The assurance came on the heels of apprehension across various hajj camps in the country over operational challenges and the slow pace of pilgrims’ movement to Saudi Arabia.

He said: “Every hajj operation doesn’t come without challenges; but Alhamdulillah, the commission is overcoming these challenges. Currently, all the states in the North East are ready for airlift and, very soon, aircrafts will be deployed to those states to airlift them.”

I can assure you that all intending pilgrims that are registered will be airlifted.”

Meanwhile, NAHCON has approved the re-allocation of intending pilgrims from Kano to another airline following unsettled operational issues.

Briefing journalists, yesterday, the Executive Secretary, Kano Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alh. Abba Dambatta disclosed that over 2,500 Kano passengers would be transported to the holy land aboard Max Air.

Although, Danbatta was not categorical when the airlift would commence, he told journalists that Kano intending pilgrims were 100 per cent prepared to depart for Saudi Arabia.

The re-allocation finally rested the controversy surrounding the earlier designation of a Kano-based airline to Kano passengers. The state government had rejected the airline, doubting the capacity and quality assurance of the local airline.

Danbatta said the issue of rejection shouldn’t have arisen in the first place because the state had never requested the services of the rejected airline.

“We have never requested the company to airlift our pilgrims,” he added.

Two of the three airlines contracted to transport pilgrims to this year’s hajj, Flynas and Max Air, have so far ferried 6,141 pilgrims in 14 flights to Madina and Jeddah airports in Saudi Arabia.

Nigeria was allocated over 45,000 pilgrims this year, out of which about 9,000 were allocated to private tour operators and 33,000 allotted to states’ Muslim pilgrim boards.

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