FG Approves 3 Airlines to Airlift 2024 Hajj Pilgrims

President Bola Tinubu has granted approval to three airlines to serve as exclusive carriers for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.

This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Fatima Sanda Usara, made available to Tribune Online, Friday night.

According to the release, the government also approved three other air cargo companies that would airfreight pilgrims’ excess luggage.

They are Cargo Zeal Technologies Ltd, Nahco Aviance and Qualla Investment Limited.

Usara stated that the approval reinforced government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and secure pilgrimage experience for Nigerian intending pilgrims.

“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.

“​FlyNas will airlift Muslim pilgrims from: Borno, Lagos, Osun, Ogun,Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara.

“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.”

The NAHCON assistant director disclosed 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.

She, however, stated that state governments might 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,” Usara added.

Meanwhile, NAHCON Chairman/CEO, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, has congratulated the approved airlines on their selection and called on them to gear up to facilitate 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,” Usara quoted Arabi to have said.

In another development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, will on Sunday, January 7, lead a NAHCON delegation to partake in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.