NAHCON completes airlift of Nigerian pilgrims 

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has completed the airlift of all intending pilgrims from Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2024 hajj.

A statement by the NAHCON assistant director of Public Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Usara, said the last flight combined about 211 remaining pilgrims from Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, FCT and Niger states.

The commission said: “This flight marks the end of the year’s hajj outbound airlift to Makkah for state quota pilgrims. However, Aero Contractors will end its airlift of Private Tour Operators pilgrims by 2 p.m. afternoon of Monday, 10th June, 2024.

“All other Private Tour Operators are expected to conclude the conveyance of their pilgrims before the closure of Jeddah and Madinah airports for all inbound Hajj airlift operations,” she said.

Hajj worship is set to commence  Friday when pilgrims will move from Mecca to Mina in preparation for the pivotal day of Arafat, marking the beginning of the hajj.

A total of 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims are expected to perform the 2024 Hajj.

The Saudi authorities had set 10 June as the deadline for the arrival of all pilgrims at the kingdom’s airports.

NACHON said the return journey for the 2024 hajj is slated to commence on 22 June based on a first-in-first-out basis.

The commission added that slots for the return journey have been secured by all airlines.

Meanwhile, NAHCON chairman Jalal Arabi has also listed some achievements recorded by the commission since the hajj exercise commenced.

He said the commission successfully airlifted all Nigerian pilgrims 72 hours before the deadline set by the Saudi authorities for all pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He added that the commission achieved complete movement of pilgrims to Maddina pre-Arafat.

Arabi said: “The commission has successfully transported all pilgrims 72 hours before the official Saudi deadline. In the same vein, the commission also achieved 100 per cent movement of pilgrims to Madinah pre-Arafat.”