Mangalore Airport Arranges Special Haj Flights
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is going to arrange special Haj flights from Mangalore airport for the first time. Previously, Haj pilgrims had to go to Bangalore, Kozhikode, or Mumbai in order to take a flight to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Air India Express has agreed to operate 6 special Haj flights from Mangalore to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Airport.
Director of Mangalore Airport, V. N. Chandran, said that flights might begin departing to Jeddah from October 17 to November 20, although these dates have not yet been confirmed. Flights might begin arriving in Mangalore from November 20 to January 1, 2010. So far AAI officials, State Haj Committee members, and other authorities concerned had organized 3 meetings regarding this issue. Another meeting is soon to be held.
Mr. Chandran said that the special Haj flights would not hinder the normal procedures at the airport. Immigration clearance for Haj pilgrims would be conducted at the transit camp, while customs and security clearances would be conducted at the airport. As per a list provided by State Haj Committee, 700 Haj pilgrims would leave from Mangalore airport.
This year, Haj celebrations are held from November 6 – 11 at Makkah, Mina, Arafa, and Muzzalifa in Saudi Arabia, all of which were within a range of 100 kms from Jeddah International Airport. The 700 Haj pilgrims would receive training in Mangalore on October 13 and October 18.