First flight carrying 415 Hajj pilgrims takes off for Saudi Arabia

A total of 122,221 Bangladeshi will perform the Islamic pilgrimage this year

Published : 21 May 2023, 05:24 AM
Updated : 21 May 2023, 05:24 AM

The first Biman Bangladesh Airlines Hajj flight, carrying 415 pilgrims, has left Dhaka for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Flight BG3001 took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3:20 am on Sunday, said Tahera Khandekar, general manager of the Public Relations Department at Biman.

It is scheduled to reach Jeddah at 7:30 am local time.

Another dedicated Hajj flight departed Dhaka at 7 am on Sunday while three other flights are scheduled to take off at 10:30 am, 2 pm, and 10: 50 pm.

Earlier, Biman organised an inaugural ceremony for Hajj flights on Saturday. State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan, and Dhaka-18 MP Habib Hasan were present at the event.

“We’ve taken all preparations to ensure the Hajj pilgrims reach the holy land safely. As per the directives from the prime minister, Hajj pilgrims have the highest priority,” said State Minister Mahbub Ali.

“The pilgrims are able to complete their immigration formalities in Dhaka using the ‘route to Makkah’ service. Hence, they can simply go to the hotel right after reaching Saudi Arabia.”

State Minister Faridul Haque thanked everyone for running the Hajj pilgrimage programme smoothly.

Both state ministers exchanged greetings with the pilgrims at the waiting lounge and took part in a special prayer seeking blessings for the country and its people. Then they bid farewell to the pilgrims.

The Hajj will be held around Jun 27, depending on the sighting of the moon. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated this year’s Hajj pilgrimage programme at Ashkona Hajj Camp on Friday.

A total of 122,221 Bangladeshi pilgrims will perform the Hajj this year. Biman will carry 61,111 of them while others will take flights by Saudi Air and Fly Nas.

Biman will operate 162 Hajj flights in total. They will use the carriers Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

In addition to Dhaka, Biman will operate Hajj flights from Chattogram and Sylhet.