National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has assured all intending pilgrims that have been registered for this year’s hajj of airlift to Saudi Arabia before the expiration of the deadline set by the Saudi authority for closure of Jeddah airport.
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.
NAHCON in a statement signed by the head of public affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, stated the challenges associated with the 2022 hajj operation like never experienced before is limited to Nigeria alone, but assured that the momentum in the Hajj airlift will pick up from as the country’s air carriers have deployed aircraft to speed up ferrying of pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj season.
According to her, “FlyNas has deployed two aircraft with a 433-seat capacity, Azman air has also deployed aircraft with a 400-seat capacity while Max Air, with a 560-passenger capacity is about to deploy its second aircraft for the Hajj dispatch.
“It is in tune with this development that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is entreating State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards to quicken the screening and conveyance of their pilgrims to the airports for onward trips to Saudi Arabia to cover lost grounds.
“Similarly, pilgrims are advised to answer the call of their boards to proceed for take-off to the holy land whenever they are summoned to do so.
“The Commission has promised to ensure that all registered pilgrims for this year’s Hajj are successfully moved to Saudi Arabia before closure of Jeddah airport. However, this is possible only with the cooperation of both the state officials and the pilgrims,” Sanda said.
Out of 43,008 Nigerian pilgrims expected to perform this year’s hajj rite, only 7, 635 pilgrims have been airlifted to Saudi Arabia in 17 flights by the three airlines contracted to transport pilgrims to this year’s hajj.