The first Hajj flight of this year has departed for Saudi Arabia with 419 pilgrims aboard.
The first Hajj flight (BG-3001) left Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Jeddah at 7:15am on Thursday, according to the Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
“The first flight is carrying 419 passengers headed to Jeddah to perform Hajj,” the civil aviation and tourism ministry’s spokesman Tanveer Alam told bdnews24.com.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Md Mahbub Ali and Religious Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah inaugurated the flight and bid them farewell at the Dhaka airport.
Four more Hajj flights, BG-3101, BG-3201, BG-3301 and BG-0035 will also leave for Jeddah on Thursday – at 11.15am, 3.15pm, 7.15pm and 8.15pm respectively.
This year, a total of 127,198 pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. Of them, Biman will ferry 63,599 pilgrims, 7,198 of them will go under government arrangement and 56,401 will go under non-government arrangement, according to the Biman Bangladesh.
The national flag carrier will use its Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft to transport pilgrims. Regular Jeddah-bound flight will also carry them from Bangladesh. Biman will operate 304 dedicated flights and 61 regular flights to ferry pilgrims to the kingdom. Return flights will start on Aug 17.