68,076 pilgrims still wait for their journey to Saudi Arabia | 2017-08-14 | daily-sun.com

Hajj Mismanagement

68,076 pilgrims still wait for their journey to Saudi Arabia

Staff Correspondent     14th August, 2017 03:16:26 printer

68,076 pilgrims still wait for their journey to Saudi Arabia

Because of hajj mismanagement, the pilgrims have been thrown into disarray. A total of 68,076 pilgrims are still waiting for their journey to Saudi Arabia.


Less than half of the total hajj pilgrims have so far travelled to Saudi Arabia during 19-day hajj flight operations which began on July 26.


Till date, Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines have carried 59,122 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.


As of Sunday, Biman Bangladesh Airlines carried 27,844 pilgrims and  Saudi Airlines carried 31,278 pilgrims.


The two airlines had to cancel 27 dedicated hajj flights due to passenger crisis. Around 12,000 pilgrims could have travelled to Saudi Arabia by the cancelled flights.


According to sources, hajj pilgrims are now worried about their journey to Saudi Arabia owning to frequent flight cancellation. Even, many of them are worried whether they would at all be able to perform hajj this year or not.


The situation has arisen due to negligence of hajj agencies and lack of coordination among hajj-related organisations.


To cope with the situation, the national flag carrier on Sunday declared of cancellation of Dhaka-Doha flight till August 26 to increase availability of more aircraft for carrying pilgrims to Jeddah. Biman has also decreased flights on its Dhaka-London route.


Biman spokesperson Shakil Meraz said that they would try not to cancel anymore hajj flight and arrange more aircrafts for carrying rest of the pilgrims during this short span of time.


Hajj flights will continue till August 26. It means that the airlines will have to carry 68,000 pilgrims by this timeframe.


In the meantime, hajj office sources said that visa applications of around 20,000 pilgrims are still being processed.


As only four days remain for completing visa process, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has asked hajj agencies to complete the process. Otherwise, the pilgrims will have to face hurdles in getting visa.