Commission Reveals No Flight Cancellation Recorded So Far

By Ajape Sefiu A.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has airlifted more than 12,000 prospective Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj in 30 flights, one week after the maiden trip.

12,760 Nigerian pilgrims have flown to Saudi Arabia, according to data made public by the Commission’s Command and Control Center on Wednesday, May 22.

According to the split of the numbers, there are 7,402 male pilgrims and 5,358 female pilgrims, with 10,901 entering through Madinah and 1,859 through Jeddah.

As of Wednesday, May 22, 3sixtyIslam learned that FlyNas had carried 5,515 pilgrims, Max Air had transported 5,401, and Air Peace had transported 1,844 pilgrims in the last seven days.

According to information obtained by our correspondent, there hasn’t been a single flight cancellation since the outbound airlift to the holy land began on Wednesday, May 15. The only exception is a flight delay that caused the Kwara inaugural flight to be rescheduled from Monday, May 20, to Tuesday, May 21.

Expressing satisfaction over the operations, the Commission’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatima Usara Sanda, said, “As we approach the second week of inbound flights into Saudi Arabia, states that are about to commence airlifting of their pilgrims include Kaduna, Yobe, Kano, Adamawa, Borno, and Sokoto states. Plateau State pilgrims are slated to depart today as well.

She therefore advised the intending pilgrims to be calm and take note that the commission has a first-in-first-out (FIFO) policy on return from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, adding that the initial challenge in the issuance of Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) to pilgrims has been resolved.

“Each pilgrim is now entitled to 500 dollars in cash as BTA, as approved by NAHCON, in place of a credit card,” she added.

According to information obtained by 3sixtyIslam, Nigerian pilgrims would be transported to Saudi Arabia by air until June 10th, or hopefully earlier.

In line with Saudi Arabian regulations, pilgrims must travel in groups of 45.

The hajj rites for this year are anticipated to start on Friday, June 14 and go until Wednesday, June 19. The date depends on seeing the moon of Dhul Hijjah, the Islamic calendar’s 12th month.