Haj 2022: King Abdulaziz Airport receives first flights from Bangladesh

Saudi Arabia receives first foreign pilgrims since pandemic



By SPA

Published: Sun 5 Jun 2022, 10:10 PM

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah has received the first flights carrying pilgrims from Bangladesh, with 410 passengers on board.

The first batch of pilgrims was received by the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom, the CEO of Jeddah Airports, the Deputy Director-General of Passports, as well as senior security and government officials at the Airport.

The pilgrims were greeted by the Saudi officials and were offered souvenirs upon their arrival at the airport, wishing them a happy stay and a convenient pilgrimage as the airport authorities processed their entrance procedures with ease.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia welcomed its first batch of haj pilgrims since before the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted authorities to sharply restrict the annual ritual.

The group from Indonesia landed in the city of Madinah and was set to travel south to the holy city of Makkah in the coming weeks to prepare for the haj next month, state media reported.

“Today, we received the first group of this year’s pilgrims from Indonesia, and the flights will continue from Malaysia and India,” Mohammed al-Bijawi of the country’s Haj Ministry told the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel.

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After the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Saudi authorities announced they would only let 1,000 pilgrims take part.

The following year, they increased the total to 60,000 fully vaccinated Saudi citizens and residents chosen through a lottery.

In April, the kingdom announced it would permit one million Muslims from inside and outside the country to participate in this year’s haj, which will take place in July.


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