The General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia has approved three days extension of landing permit for Nigerian hajj carriers under the umbrella of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
NAHCON sought the extension to enable it to transport its remaining pilgrims into the Kingdom for 2022 Hajj. The extension was necessitated due to excessive flight cancellations and flight delays.
The three-day extension which started yesterday, would last till July 6, 2022.
Meanwhile, of the 43,008 Nigerian pilgrims expected to perform this year’s Hajj, 27, 359 pilgrims including 527 staff as well as committees and board members under the government quota have been transported to Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, over 5,000 out of the 8,097 pilgrims under Tour Operators have also arrived in Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj.
Statistics made available to LEADERSHIP indicated that a total of nine flights were cancelled between June 10 to 13th, 2022 due to reasons ranging from inability to secure BTA, insufficient funds for visas, unavailable PCR test results and so on.
In total, 13 flights were cancelled with another 57 delayed take-offs while only 13 flights left on schedule out of the 65 outbound flights so far witnessed from Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 2022 Hajj operation.
However, NAHCON has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that no Nigerian pilgrim duly registered and with valid travel documents is left behind for the 2022 Hajj.
The commission in a statement by the assistant director, public affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, appealed to pilgrims to be calm and to remain prepared for onward transportation to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj.