First hajj flight takes off Thursday

The first Hajj flight from Bangladesh took off for Saudi Arabia Thursday, setting off plane sorties between Dhaka and Jeddah.

The flight left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at about 5:45am carrying 505 pilgrims on a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet aircraft.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader inaugurated the Hajj flight at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5am.

Meanwhile, the minister inaugurated the hajj camp at Ashkona in city’s Uttara Wednesday.

This year, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate 90 flights. “But, the number of flights will be increased, if necessary,” said an official source.

Biman’s general manager (PR) Khan Mosharraf Hosain told banglanews, “Biman has rented a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet to complete Hajj formalities properly. Besides, a DC 10 will transport Hajj pilgrims.”

A Biman source said most hajj flights would be operated by Boeing 747 and DC 10 while some regular flights would also carry some pilgrims.

While inaugurating the first hajj flight, GM Quader said, “All necessary measures have already been taken to ensure best quality of service.”

“As the government has concerns about hajj, all necessary services have been insured at hajj camps in both Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia”, he added.

Meanwhile, he talked to the pilgrims and arranged a special prayer seeking Almighty’s blessings for them.

According to Religious Affairs Ministry, this year, 107,425 Bangladeshi pilgrims will perform Hajj from the Muslim-majority country. Of them, 3,768 pilgrims will go under government management while the rest under private management.

The sorties of Hajj flights by Biman Bangladesh and other airliners will end October 30 while by Saudi Airlines on November 3.

The return Hajj flights will begin on November 10 and will continue till December 10.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines will carry most of the pilgrims apart from other airliners.

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