The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has signed an agreement with the three airlines which got the approval of the presidency to transport the 2019 Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The Head, Public Affairs Division of NAHCON, Fatima Usara, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Mrs Usara said the three airlines were Max Air Ltd, Medview Airlines Plc and FlyNas, a Saudi Arabia designated airline.
She explained this at the signing of the agreement held at the commission’s Head Office in Sokoto House Abuja.
She said “Max Air has been allocated 51.00 per cent slot for pilgrims airlift from Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Kogi states.
Medview has a 14.00 per cent allocation of pilgrims from Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Ogun, Ondo, Yobe, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rivers and Armed Forces.
While Flynas is charged with transportation of 35.00 per cent of pilgrims from Sokoto state, Oyo, Osun, FCT, Edo, Kebbi, Lagos and Zamfara states.
According to her, the Chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Mukhtar, enjoined the approved air carriers to discharge their responsibilities diligently to the pilgrims who are sole sponsors of the contract for the airlift.
Therefore, they owe a moral responsibility between them, the pilgrims, the Almighty to whom the pilgrims are special guests and the commission for selecting them and vouching for them on behalf of the pilgrims.
Mrs Usara also said that the NAHCON boss urged the airline operators to liaise with the necessary security agencies in ensuring safety and security of pilgrims under comfortable manner.
She said that the airlines were reminded that intending pilgrims are international travelers; therefore they must be accorded same standard and quality service as any international client.
According to her, the chairman reiterated that the desire of any pilgrim after the hajj exercise was early return to the country along with their luggage and Zamzam water; hence they must not compromise on the standard set by the commission on luggage dispatch.
Similarly, the carriers must scrutinise their staff to guarantee that only honest persons are assigned tasks of dealing with pilgrims so as to avoid being compromised by miscreants.”
Fatima Usara said the airlines were advised to review past operations and address observed lapses as a team.