First Hajj flight reaches Jeddah

September 30, 2011

Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday operated its first Hajj flight of the year carrying 505 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. A Boeing 747 jumbo jet left Shahjalal International Airport (SIA) around 5:45am and landed safely at Jeddah airport in the afternoon, Biman sources said.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader inaugurated the national carrier’s Hajj Operations 2011 at the SIA.
A total of 1,06,965 Bangladeshis are likely to perform Hajj this year.
Of them, 15,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj under government management and the rest under private arrangements, sources at religious affairs ministry said.
Biman will carry 24,000 pilgrims while the rest will travel by other airlines.
Though the carrier had preparations to serve 36,225 pilgrims, it curtailed the number on Wednesday to fill up the quota of Saudi Arabia’s NAS Airlines, according to Biman sources.
It has designated two aircrafts — a Boeing 747 and a DC-10 — to carry the pilgrims, said Khan Mosharraf Hosain, general manager of Biman.
The return flights of Biman will commence on November 31.

-With The Daily Star input

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