Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon on Wednesday said that all the hajj-related problems, including flight schedule debacle, would be resolved soon.
“All the hajj-related problems, including flight schedule debacle, will be resolved within a couple of days”, he said after an emergency meeting at his ministry in the capital where representatives from all stakeholders were present.
The meeting also decided to carry the hajj pilgrims by the regular flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines by decreasing the regular passengers.
Representatives from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) and senior officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were present at the meeting with Rashed Khan Menon in the chair.
Mentioning the increase in the Moallem fees by the Saudi government as one of the main reasons behind the breakdown of hajj flight schedules, the minister said that the issue would hopefully be settled soon.
Narrating more reasons behind visa complexities, he said that printing of e-visa, imposing extra 2,000 Saudi Riyals for the pilgrims who performed hajj earlier have created the problems.
“Till now, 12 hajj flights of Biman have been cancelled due to shortage of passengers creating a week’s backlog. Around 5,380 pilgrims could have been transported by these flights. So, regular flights will carry hajj pilgrims and we shall urge the Saudi Arabian authorities to increase the slots from cancelled flights for carrying pilgrims”, said Menon.
This year, a total of 1 lakh 27 thousand pilgrims are expected to perform hajj from Bangladesh. Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines are scheduled to carry the pilgrims.
Till Wednesday, as many as 29, 539 pilgrims were transported, among which, 14,100 boarded the state-run carrier and the rest by Saudi Airlines.