- Digital Bangladesh

Hajj flights begins to carry record 1,07,343 pilgrims on Thursday

The hajj flights will start by national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines to carry record 1,07,343 pilgrims from 5 am on September 29.

“We have taken all necessary measures to arrange flights for record number of 1,07,343 Hajj pilgrims this year,” said Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister G M Quader at a press briefing after holding the last inter ministerial meeting on hajj management at his ministry here.

The pre hajj flight will be continued till October 30, while the return flight is scheduled to operate from November 10 to December 10, he said.

The civil aviation ministry have created 1,43,349 capacity against the total 1,07,343 hajj pilgrims, projected by the religious affairs ministry, the minister said.

Quader said the ministry has arranged 14 third carriers apart from national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Limited and Saudi Arabian Airlines to carry record huge numbers of pilgrims.

Last year, the numbers of Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims were more
than 90,000 that were only around 50,000 in 2009.

Quader requested to all intending hajj pilgrims and their agencies to buy their air tickets as early as possible for ensuring their smooth journey to Saudi Arabia.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has already taken lease a Boeing 747 with the capacity of 506 passengers to carry the hajj pilgrims. “Apart from the leased aircraft, the Biman will also use its DC 10 aircraft to operate the flights,” Quader said.

Bangladesh Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority have signed separate agreements with 14 other airlines as third carrier to
ensure of carrying all hajj pilgrims on time, Quader said.

Under the arrangements, Biman will be responsible for carrying 36,225 pilgrims while Saudi Arabian Airlines will carry 30,000, NAS Air 24,624, GMG Airlines 14,000, Gulf Air 9,000, Emirate Airlines 7,000, Qatar Airways 4,500, United Airways 4,000, Kuwait Airways 3,000, Air Arabia 2,500, Etihad Airways 2,500, Jet Airways 2,000, RAK airways 1,000, Malaysia Airlines 1,000, Turkish Airlines 1,000 and Pakistan International Airlines 1,000.

Among the airlines, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Saudia Arabian  Airlines, GMG and NAS Air will operate dedicated hajj flight while other will carry the pilgrims by regular flights with minister said, adding that apart from  Dhaka the hajj flights will also be operated from Chittagong and  Sylhet.

“We can overcome all possible risk of failing to carry the  devotees if all concern quarter follow our instructions,” he said.
Among the total Hajj devotees, 3,770 will perform their hajj  under the government management, while rest 1,03,570 under private arrangements, religious affairs ministry said.

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