NAHCON approves three air carriers for transporting pilgrims –

Nigeria’s National Hajj Commission has revealed that it has reached agreements to begin transporting 2,022 future pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from June 9.

NAHCON Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made this known in Abuja on Friday.

He spoke during the signing of an agreement between the commission and three airlines licensed to fly Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Hassan announced that the three air carriers approved by the federal government through the commission were Azman Air, Max Air and Flynas (Saudi Arabia’s designated airline).

He urged airlines to provide quality service in line with known standards in the aviation industry and to treat all pilgrims as very important personalities.

Hassan also disclosed that by June 6, the commission’s advance team will travel to the cities of Medina and Makkah.

According to him, by the commission’s projection on June 9, Nigeria’s inaugural Hajj 2022 flight will head to Medina.

He said: “Today is indeed historic for us as it is the start of the 2022 hajj operation.

“It is clear to all of us that without escape, there can be no Hajj for people living outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Prospective pilgrims must travel to Saudi Arabia before they can perform the hajj.

“For this reason, flight is essential and very important.

“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the successful airlines, all of whom have been part of the commission since 2022.

“We also hope that the airlines that have not been successful this year will have a better time another time.”

Earlier, NAHCON Commissioner of Operations Alhaji Abdullahi Hardawa described the event as a time after almost three years without Hajj.

Hardawa congratulated the successful carriers while urging them to view their selection as a challenge to do their best.

The commission revealed that it had established an aviation oversight committee to monitor their performance.

Nigeria News Agency reports that seven airlines; Max Air, FlyNas, Azman Air, Med-View Airline, Skypower Express, Westlink Airlines and Arik Air, have requested control.

Those selected ranked the top three whose names were forwarded to the presidency for approval before sealing the contractual agreement.

States assigned to specific airlines are as follows: Max Air is to fly pilgrims from 13 States namely: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and Taraba.

Azman Air is responsible for transporting pilgrims from 16 states and armed forces: Kano, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Ogun, Ondo, Rivers and Yobe.

FlyNas would airlift pilgrims from FCT-Abuja, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Kebbi, Edo and Zamfara, making eight states.

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