The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has revealed that on Monday, August 27, 2018, the first batch of Nigerian pilgrims that performed the 2018 Hajj exercise will be airlifted back home.
The return flight will commence with pilgrims from Kogi State aboard Flynas Airline en route the country via Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NZIA, in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
This was disclosed in an official statement by NAHCON, following a meeting with Hajj carriers in Jedda, Saudi Arabia; the commission stated that the pilgrims will commence their return journey from King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah to NZIA, Abuja.
At the conference, NAHCON and the Hajj carriers agreed on flight modalities, among other operational strategies at ensuring a hitch-free airlift of Nigerian pilgrims back to the country.
It is expected that the return journey would be faster than the inward journey into Saudi Arabia simply over 9 per cent of the pilgrims, according to NAHCON, are ready for the airlift back home.
Officials of the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards and FCT have been enjoined to cooperate and ensure a smooth airlift back home in accordance with the flight schedule that was given to them.
It would be recalled that the Nation reported earlier, that NAHCON chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, disclosed that the Kogi State contingent to the Hajj exercise will be given preference at the commencement of return flight operations.
Muhammad made the assertion, stressing that the pilgrims from Kogi State will be the first beneficiaries of the return flight because they were the first to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj exercise.
The first batch of 445 pilgrims from Kogi State arrived in Madinah aboard the inaugural flight for this year’s Hajj on July 21, 2018
They were transported by Max Air to Prince Muhammad Abdullaziz International Airport, Madinah via the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.