Three airlines have been approved by the Nigerian presidency for 2019 Hajj operations.
They are Max Air Ltd, Medview Airlines Plc, and FlyNas of Saudi Arabia.
During an Airlift Signing Agreement held Monday at the head office of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON ), in Abuja, the chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Muhammad, enjoined the approved air carriers to discharge their responsibilities diligently.
He told them that they owe a moral responsibility to the pilgrims and to God to whom the pilgrims are ‘special guests.’ He said they also owe a moral duty to the commission for selecting them.
While declaring that there is no room for failure in the Hajj exercise, the NAHCON helmsman charged the airline operators to liaise with the necessary security agencies in ensuring safety and security of pilgrims.
A statement by the spokesperson of NAHCON, Fatima Usara, said the airlines were reminded that intending pilgrims are international travellers “who must therefore, be accorded same standard and quality service as any international client.”
“The chairman reiterated that the desire of any pilgrim after the Hajj exercise is early return to the country along with their luggages and Zamzam water; hence they must not compromise on the standard set by the Commission on luggage dispatch,” the statement said.
It also said, the carriers were told to ensure that they scrutinise their staff to guarantee that only honest persons are assigned the task of dealing with pilgrims.
Muhammad also tasked them to review past operations and address observed lapses as a team.
In his acceptance speech, the Chief Executive Officer of Medview Airlines, Munir Bankole, reportedly thanked the commission for finding them worthy.
He also declared their commitment to the discharge of the task ahead of them, whose significance he said, they are well aware of. He prayed to God for a hitch free 2019 Hajj exercise.
Present at the signing agreement are representatives of Medview Airline led by its CEO, Mr Bankole, representatives of Max Air, led by the CEO, Bashir Mangal, and representatives of FlyNas airline, Yasser Ajlan and others who flew in from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Max Air has been allocated 51 per cent slot for pilgrims airlift from Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Kogi states.
Medview has been allocated 14 per cent to airlift pilgrims from Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Ogun, Ondo, Yobe, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rivers and Armed Forces.
Flynas is charged with the transportation of 35 per cent slot to airlift pilgrims from Sokoto, Oyo, Osun, FCT, Edo, Kebbi, Lagos and Zamfara states.