Nine airlines have shown interest to airlift 95,000 intending pilgrims for the 2023 hajj exercise.

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The airlines that submitted their bids yesterday, March 2, at the headquarters of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) are
Air Peace, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Azman, Max Air, Sky power Express, United Nigeria Airline and Value jet.

Also, Flynas is the only international airline that indicated interest.

Speaking during the submission and inauguration screening of the committee for airline and cargo companies, the chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Adekunle Hassan, stated that the inaugural flight for the pilgrimage is on May 21.

He urged the screening committee to work day and night and present the selected airlines by March 7 to get presidential approval for the selected date.

While stating that committee is responsible for all technical issues regarding airport and aircraft, he urged all intending pilgrims to conclude their registration with the state welfare board or the hajj savings scheme on or before March 7 “as the registration of this year will be closed in due course to meet with the deadline by the Saudi government.”

The Director General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, said all the aircraft must prove they have verifiable aircraft before they will be considered.

Nuhu said any operator that does not meet its schedule during the exercise, without a reasonable excuse, would be penalised.

He added that some airports do not meet the basic requirement of operating big airports, which leads to waste of hours before they embark on the journey.