2023 Hajj NAHCON Begins airlift of Nigerian pilgrims back home tomorrow, insist on first in- first out

by admin



The airlift of Nigerian pilgrims back to Nigeria is expected to commence on Tuesday, July 4.


NAHCON head of aviation, made the announcement at the post Arafah meeting, held on Sunday evening in Makkah.


He said, the criteria of first in, first out would strictly be applied in the evacuation of the pilgrims back to Nigeria after the 2023 Hajj exercise.


Engineer Goni explained that the Saudi authorities have a policy of minimizing the number of flights by the air carriers in the first two weeks of the commencement of the airlift back home.


According to him, the decision is due to volume of traffic and the large number of aircrafts involved in the evacuation exercise of pilgrims from different continents and countries of the world and the fact that they are going to virtually all take off from one single airport, which is the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.


He said though Nigerian carriers had been given permission to airlift pilgrims from Madinah International Airport, but that is yet to be actualized, as about 98 percent of Nigerian pilgrims had already visited Madinah.


Goni noted that for the Nigerian pilgrims be transported to Madinah again, it would be herculean as handling their luggage alone would be a big task, saying “by Sunday, or Monday discussions with the authorities concerned would be concluded for a review of the permission at least this year.”


He also disclosed that every pilgrim would spend minimum of 37 or maximum of 43 days before being airlifted back to Nigeria.


According to him, the formula is plus or minus 3 days on 40 days for every Nigerian pilgrim to spend in Saudi Arabia from the day of arrival, advising them to have a peace of mind that they would never exceed the stated time in Makkah.


He equally stated that for the first two weeks of the start of the airlift, Flynas would only utilise four of the six aircrafts for the operation, as the other two are undergoing some checks and maintenance.


On Zamzam, Engineer Goni said most of it have already been taken to Nigeria only waiting for collection by pilgrims at their various  arrival and departure points.

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