The Federal Government has approved three airlines, Air Peace, Flynas and Max Air, to serve as exclusive carriers to airlift passengers for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.
Similarly, the government has approved three cargo companies, Cargo Zeal Technologies Limited, NAHCO Aviance and Qualla Investment Limited, to airfreight pilgrims’ excess luggage.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Fatima Usara, on Friday.
According to the statement, Air Peace will transport pilgrims from Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kwara, Ondo and Rivers.
The statement further indicated that Flynas will convey pilgrims from Borno, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara, while Max Air with the highest allocation will airlift pilgrims from Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Oyo, Taraba, Kaduna, Armed Forces, Gombe, Jigawa and Plateau states.
The statement read, “The Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu has officially granted approval to three distinguished airlines to serve as exclusive carriers for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, they are Air Peace Limited, FlyNas and Max Air.
“Also approved are three other air cargo companies that will airfreight pilgrims’ excess luggage. They are Cargo Zeal Technologies Limited, NAHCO Aviance and Qualla Investment Limited. The approval reinforces the government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and secure pilgrimage experience for Nigerian intending pilgrims.
“The allocation of pilgrims to the airlines was in line with the subsisting Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia on the airlift of pilgrims under government quota.
“However, state governments may choose to designate any of the approved freight companies to convey their pilgrims’ excess luggage. Should any state enter such exclusive arrangement, the decision should be communicated to the commission accordingly.”
Usara also disclosed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, would “lead a delegation from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to partake in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage on 7th January 2024”.
Meanwhile, NAHCON’s Acting Chairman, Jalal Arabi, congratulated the approved airlines on their selection and called on them to gear up to facilitate a smooth pilgrimage in the 2024 season.
The commission said it remained dedicated to upholding the highest standards in pilgrimage organisation, with a focus on the safety and satisfaction of pilgrims.