Airlift of 80,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia begins

Posted by News Express | 9 August 2016 | 3,067 times

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The Federal Government disclosed yesterday that it has begun the airlift of Muslim pilgrims with the inaugural flight to Saudi Arabia from the Sultan Abubakar III Airport, Sokoto.

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said no fewer than 80,000 pilgrims were expected to be transported in the next five weeks for the 2016 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

This was contained in a statement issued by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Yakubu Dati, in Lagos yesterday.

Dati said that this year hajj operation would be carried out in 17 airports across the country.

He assured the pilgrims that safety and security infrastructure was given priority in all airports to ensure seamless passenger facilitation during the exercise.

Dati said FAAN was providing security and safety oversight to all airports including state-owned airports participating in the exercise.

A Director, Ministry of Transport, Adamu Wakil, was quoted as saying that the ministry would collaborate with aviation agencies to ensure that safety and security in the airports.

Wakil, who is also the Chairman, Aviation Monitoring Committee, said that his team would ensure seamless passenger transportation during the period.

Dati said two directors from FAAN, Olufemi Ogunode and Capt. Henry Omeogu, had earlier led various technical teams to supervise preparations for the exercise.

The transportation of the pilgrims began yesterday when the first batch of 500 pilgrims left the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, for Saudi Arabia.

According to the statement, the exercise is expected to be concluded on Sept. 6.

•Source: Peoples Daily. Photo shows departing Hajj pilgrims.

Source: News Express

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