Religious Affairs Ministry Secretary Md Anisur Rahman on Tuesday said that this year the Saudi government has confirmed that they would not provide extra slots for hajj flights.
“So the hajj tickets must be ensured in proper time this year. The last flight of Saudi Airlines is scheduled leave on August 17 and that of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on August 15. No one will be able to leave for hajj beyond that. The rules and regulations of the Saudi government are very tough this time”, he said.
Attending a meeting with 44 hajj agencies who were yet to confirm the tickets of pilgrims, at the secretariat the secretary came up with the remarks.
“There will be no problems with tickets, from July 27 to August 2; the agencies have to rent houses in Saudi Arabia otherwise the matter of food catering would not be resolved and for that pilgrims won’t get Saudi provided visa number (Mofa)”, he said.
“I’m still hopeful there will be no problem with tickets but the problem will be accommodation, Mofa and catering”, he added.
Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) president Abdus Sobhan Bhuiyan urged the secretary to increase the rate of pilgrims’ replacement for ticket confirmation while Anisur said the government has no plan of raising the replacement ration for now.
According to the existing policy, four percent pilgrim replacement is possible.
The hajj is scheduled to be held on August 21, subject to sighting of moon.
Current year, a total of 1,26,798 pilgrims from Bangladesh are going to perform hajj at Saudi Arabia under government and private management.
The hajj bound flights started operating from July 14.