This year’s first hajj flight from Chittagong carrying 416 Bangladeshi pilgrims left Hazrat Shah Amanat International Airport for Saudi Arabia on Friday midnight.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon inaugurated the flight.
In a view exchange meeting on hajj with journalists at airport conference room, the minister said around 7,000 hajj pilgrims did not get schedule as Saudi Arabia introduced E-visa system this year.
“Hopefully, we will be able to send all hajj pilgrims on time. We have already applied to the authorities concerned of Saudi Arabia to give the slots for the canceled flights to take pilgrims.” he added.
Menon said this year 14,700 hajj pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia from Chittagong.
Of them, dedicated flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will carry 6,285 pilgrims. The rest of them have to go in scheduled fights.
The flights for Medinah will likely to be operated on August 7 and 8.
“We are trying to increase flights for Medinah from next year”, the minister said.
Some 127,198 pilgrims will perform hajj from Bangladesh this year under government and private managements. Some 37,000 hajj pilgrims have already reached Makkah.
On July 24, the first Hajj flight of Biman carrying 418 Bangladeshi pilgrims took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. The hajj flights will be operated till August 26.
The return flight will start on September 6 and continue till October 5.