By Neil Halligan
Females under the age of 45 must have a legal guardian, says Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation
Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has warned airlines against transporting female pilgrims under the age of 45 without a legal guardian, according to a report in the Saudi Gazette.
Airlines who breach this law will be fined SR50,000 ($13,331), according the report, while the violating female pilgrims will be denied entry and sent back on the next flight.
The warning from GACA is aimed at providing care for the pilgrims and ensure their safety.
The Saudi Gazette interviewed an executive manager at a Hajj company in Jeddah, who said the problem is created by Hajj agencies from outside the country.
“Many of these agencies list on the official papers of women with no legal guardian the name of any male member in the group. It is a common practice by these agencies and it is hard to prove the relationship between them,” said the manager.
“These agencies aim to earn more money and they will do anything for it. They increase the cost of the trip for female pilgrims with no legal guardian and fix them with any name as a legal guardian and most of them agree. This is out of our control.”