NEW DELHI, May 22 (PTI): Air India and Air India Express will operate special Haj flights from Jaipur, Chennai, Kozhikode and Kannur, carrying around 19,000 pilgrims.
The two carriers will fly close to 19,000 pilgrims to Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia from the four cities.
Air India, in the first phase, will operate 46 flights from Jaipur and Chennai to Medina and Jeddah, respectively. The first flight was operated from Jaipur on May 21 and the services will go on till June 21, according to a release on Monday.
In the second phase, Air India will bring back the pilgrims to Jaipur and Chennai by operating 43 flights from July 3 to August 2.
“The number of pilgrims scheduled to fly with Air India from Jaipur is 5,871 on 27 flights while 4,447 pilgrims will be flown by it from Chennai on 19 flights,” the release said.
Air India Express will operate flights from Kozhikode and Kannur from June 4 to 22.
It will operate 44 flights from Kozhikode to Jeddah – carrying 6,363 passengers and 13 flights between Kannur and Jeddah carrying 1,873 passengers during the first phase.
In the second phase, July 13 to August 2, Air India Express will fly back the pilgrims from Medina to Kozhikode and Kannur.
Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said the airline is happy to resume the annual special flights for the sacred Haj pilgrimage.
“Air India and Air India Express will be bringing Zamzam water on the return ferry flights to India. This will be stored at the four destinations operated by them in India, on arrival. The holy water will be finally handed over to the pilgrims after they land back in their home destinations,” the release said.