Civil Aviation ministry clears Mangalore-Jeddah flights

20 October 2009

The Civil Aviation ministry has cleared the Mangalore-Jeddah direct flight. "To start with it will be limited to the Haj period from 25 to 30th October, but if there are demands to keep the operations there is nothing that stops the operator (Air India Express) to sustain the schedule" said a source in the ministry to

The Air India Express will operate six flights during 25 October to 30 October and each of the six flights will carry 120 Haj pilgrims from Mangalore to directly to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Earlier the pilgrims had to go to either Dubai or Muscat (Oman) and take a circuitous road to the holy city of Mecca, which not only shot up the cost but also more travel and time.

According central Muslim committee vice president of Udupi and Mangalore Mr. Hamid Kandak, Jeddah to Mecca was just a matter of 3 hours journey by road and there were excellent air conditioned coaches, cars and vans that could transport pilgrims comfortably to the holy city of Mecca.

“We are transporting 780 pilgrims from Mangalore to Jeddah this season which is marginally more than the last season” said an official in the airline.

The transit camp has been opened in Bajpe village and all the pilgrims have been prepared with relevant papers. This time they have to carry the H1N1 clearance certificate issued by the district medical officer, this document was a must in the dossier of every pilgrim as the Saudi Arabian government had asked the Ministry of External Affairs to equip every pilgrim with this document.

The return journey which is expected to start sometime in December will also have the same procedure as six flights operated by the Air India Express directly from Jeddah to Mangalore.



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