The federal government has approved only three airlines for the airlift of intending pilgrims for the 2024 hajj exercise.
The approved airlines are Airpeace, MaxAir and FlyNas.
A statement by the The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Assistant Director on Public Affairs, Farima Sanda Usara, on Friday said, “the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has officially granted approval to three distinguished airlines to serve as exclusive carriers for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, they are Air Peace Ltd., FlyNas and Max Air.”
Usara stated that the government also approved three other air cargo companies that will airfreight pilgrims’ excess luggage. “They are Cargo Zeal Technologies Ltd, Nahco Aviance and Qualla Investment Limited.”
She stated that the approval reinforces the government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and secure pilgrimage experience for Nigerian intending pilgrims.
She said, “Consequently, the Federal government concurrently approved allocation of pilgrims from various states to each of the approved airlines as follows: Air Peace is to transport intending pilgrims from: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kwara, Ondo and Rivers States.
“FlyNas will airlift Muslim pilgrims from Borno, Lagos, Osun, Ogun,Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara States.
“Max Air with the highest allocation will be responsible for moving pilgrims from: Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Oyo, Taraba, Kaduna, Armed Forces, Gombe, Jigawa and Plateau States.”
Usara stated that the allocation of pilgrims to the airlines was in line with the subsisting Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia on airlift of pilgrims under government quota.
“However, state governments may choose to designate any of the approved freight companies to convey their pilgrims’ excess luggage. Should any state enter such exclusive arrangement, the decision should be communicated to the Commission accordingly.”
She added that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, is set to lead a delegation from NAHCON to partake in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage on 7th January 2024.
“The Chairman of the commission Malam Jalal Arabi congratulated the approved airlines on their selection and called on them to gear up to facilitating smooth pilgrimage in 2024 season. NAHCON remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards in pilgrimage organization, with a focus on the safety and satisfaction of pilgrims,” she said.