Max Air aircraft has spent over four hours in Khartoum International Airport, Sudan with Niger State pilgrims onboard.
There was no immediate reason why the flight had to land in Khartoum before proceeding to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Boeing 747-4B5/B744 aircraft operated by Max Airline departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport with 544 Niger pilgrims and 16 officials at 20:53 on Sunday.
However, instead of spending the four and half hours flight time to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the Max Air flight with registration number 5N-HMM spent over nine hours, HAJJ REPORTERS has reliably gathered.
An official of the airline who declined being named because he was not authorized to speak to the press over the incident has confirmed this to our corespondent.
He said the Max Air aircraft with flight number VM1051 “departed Abuja at 20:53GMT on July 3 and landed in Khartoum at 02:33GMT on July 4.”
He said the aircraft spent 4 hours 26 minutes in Khartoum airport with Niger pilgrims onboard. He, however, refused to divulge the main reason behind the unusual stopover in Sudan.
HAJJ REPORTERS reports that the Max Air flight only arrived Jeddah Monday morning.
Another official said the Max Air flight “departed Khartoum at 6:59GMT on July 4 and arrived Jeddah at 8:22GMT on Monday.”
Findings by this newspaper revealed that Max Air officials didn’t deem it fit to provide any information regarding the delay to the stranded and agitated pilgrims.
One of the pilgrims, who identified herself as Maman Muhamad, told this newspaper that her experience was “really hell. We spent days in Minna Hajj camp before we were herded to Abuja for the eventual airlift. The officials of Max Air have zero courtesy for their passengers. They treated us shabbily through out the 10 hours harrowing flight.”
This development has further deepened the suffering of the first batch of Niger pilgrims who spent days at Minna Hajj camp before they were ferried to Abuja for the journey.
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