RELIGION

Air Peace, Arik Air, eight other airlines bid for 2023 Hajj

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No fewer than 10 airlines have applied to transport Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 hajj.

Also, three cargo airlines applied to bring luggage of the pilgrims back to the country after the hajj is completed and pilgrims had made purchases.

This was made known during the opening of application forms as well as the inauguration of Aviation Monitoring and Airline Screening Committees.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan at Hajj House in Abuja inaugurated the committees.

The airlines include: Aero Contractors, Air Peace, Arik Air, Flynas, Azman Air, Max air, Sky power, United Nigeria Airlines, while the three cargo airlines are: Cargo zeal, Cargo Solo Deke Global Travels, and one other.

The NAHCON boss urged the screening committee to work round the clock to summit its report by March 7, for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

He also charged the committee to ensure that all technical issues regarding airport and aircraft were resolved on time.

Hassan said the transportation of pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would commence on May 21.

He advised all intending pilgrims to complete their registration with various State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, Agencies and Commissions or through the Hajj Savings Scheme on time.

According to him, the registration for 2023 hajj will be closed in due course so as to meet up with the deadline fixed by the Saudi Arabian Government.

Hassan said: “The terms and references of the Aviation Monitoring Committee include constituting a subcommittee to review all documents submitted by the applicant-airlines and cargo carriers.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, urged the members of the screening committee to justify the confidence reposed in them.

He said if airlines perform well, the rest of hajj operation would be successful.

“I urge you to ensure that the airport you are going to operate from is very much in order. Make early arrangements to do what is right to avoid flight delays or cancellations,” he said.

Chairman of the screening committee and NAHCON Commissioner of Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Hardawa, said the committee would work diligently to ensure a successful Hajj operation.

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