Beginning from today Wednesday, 12th July, 2023 all the Nigerian licensed carriers would begin to operate their in-bound flight to Nigeria optimally.
This was the outcome of the high level meeting between the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the Saudi authorities, General Authority on civil Aviation (GACA) on the slow pace of the airlift operation.
According to a statement released by NAHCON’s Deputy Director on Information/Publications, Mousa Ubandawaki, explained in this situation, Max Airline with three aircrafts on its fleet will be able to operate all the aircraft to Nigeria everyday, the same with Aero Contractors, Air peace, Azman and Arik Air which is dedicated to the airlift of private tour operators.
The new development is expected to ease the strain on the agitation of Nigerian pilgrims who have been anxious to return to Nigeria since the conclusion of the Hajj rites on the 30th june.
It will also increase the pace of the airlift operation which have been bogged down by non-availability of slots to the Nigerian licensed carriers especially by the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority.
The Commission have been disturbed about the situation which solution she had been battling with since the commencement of the second phase of the airlift operation.
The GACA have refused to allot slots to the Nigerian airlines to speed up the return of pilgrims back home.
Several representation, meetings were held. The intervention of the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Amb.Dauda Yahaya Lawal achieved little success until the issue was escalated to the highest level of Government before the situation was finally resolved.
Thus far, only 26 flights have recorded on the in-bound airlift operation with the highest shuttle operated by the Saudi- owned Flynas which operated more than 2/3 of the flights.