Saudi Arabian Hajj and Umrah affairs deputy minister Dr Abdul Fattah Sulaiman assured that his government would consider approving 10 more slot of dedicated hajj flight to Biman Bangladesh
airlines as per Dhaka's request.
The assurance was made while Bangladesh ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary called on the Saudi deputy minister at Makkah on Wednesday, according to a message received here today.
Dhaka had requested Saudi Arabia civil aviation authority to allow Biman to operate 10 more hajj flights as Bangladesh flag carrier was forced to cancel several hajj flights as some hajj agencies did not able to arrange accommodation and secure visa for the Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims before their scheduled departure.
While contacted Biman Bangladesh Managing Director and CEO Shafiul Azim told reporter that they are optimistic to get permission from Saudi Arabia Civil Aviation Authority to operate 10 more hajj flights.
"We have some backup plan as well so that we can carry all hajj pilgrims on time," he said.
Biman chief alleged that there is lack of sincerity of some hajj agencies and as a result Biman is losing money as well as got into pressure to carry all hajj pilgrims on time.
"We have already informed the matter to the religious affairs ministry to take action against the responsible agencies as per the law," he said.
The religious affairs ministry already sent show cause notices to 90 hajj agencies on Sunday blaming them for the situation.
This year, a total of 122,221 pilgrims from Bangladesh are going to perform hajj. Of them, nearly 62,000 will fly Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the rest either Saudia airline or Flynas.