Bangladeshi pilgrims from different part of the country have gathered at the Hajj camp in Dhaka, from where they will take flight for Saudi Arabia. (Shehab Sumon)
Can avail pre-immigration facilities at Dhaka airport as part of measures introduced by the Kingdom this year
A total of 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims are set to fly to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year, with the first flight scheduled for 7.15am on Thursday.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national carrier of the country and Saudi Airlines will carry all the Bangladeshi pilgrims through regular flights and special hajj flights. The hajj flights will continue till 5th August.
“We have completed all necessary arrangements to carry around 63,000 pilgrims with 189 hajj flights through four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Biman will also offer 11 flights to Madina from Dhaka for the first time this year,” Tahera Khandoker, General Manager of Biman Bangladesh told Arab News.
For the convenience of the pilgrims from different part of the country, Biman will operate 19 hajj flights from Chittagong and three flights from Sylhet, informed Khandoker. Biman will operate 176 post-hajj flights from August 17 to September 15 to return the Bangladeshi pilgrims.
This year each of the Bangladeshi pilgrims have paid around maximum 5,000 USD to perform the hajj while the government has fixed the minimum cost as 4,100 USD.
Among 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims, around 7,000 pilgrims are scheduled to perform hajj through the management of religious affairs ministry and the rest others are managed by the 598 private hajj agencies.
“We have almost settled all the preparations for sending our pilgrims. But still there are some problems with the visa printing issue as from this year according to the Saudi government policy we had to apply through e – hajj,” Shahadat Hossain Taslim, President of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) told Arab News.
“We are facing this problem with visa in 5 – 10 percent cases. However, with the support of Saudi embassy in Dhaka we are sorting out this visa issues, ” Taslim added.
Bangladeshi pilgrims will enjoy the pre- immigration process from this year which will ease the immigration hassles of the pilgrims waiting in the long queue at Jeddah airport. Earlier, many of the Bangladeshi pilgrims had to wait for around 4 hours in the aircraft after landing at Jeddah to complete the immigration process.
In the new system, now the Bangladeshi pilgrims will complete the immigration formalities at Dhaka airport just before boarding on flights. Saudi immigration chief General Khaled is scheduled to arrive Dhaka on 5th July to inaugurate this pre immigration program on next Saturday.