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Thu 5 Jul 2018 02:07 PM

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Emirates reveals plan to cope with rising Saudi Hajj demand

Dubai airline says it will be operating extra flights to Jeddah and Madinah while putting on special services for pilgrims

Emirates reveals plan to cope with rising Saudi Hajj demand

Emirates said on Thursday it will be operating extra flights to Jeddah and Madinah to help facilitate travel for pilgrims heading to and from Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Emirates said in a statement that it will be operating 33 additional flights to the two Saudi cities from August 6-31  to support the journey for pilgrims expected to travel to the holy city of Makkah.

These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah and Madinah and are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa.

This year, top inbound destinations Emirates is expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Pakistan, Senegal, the United States, the UK, Australia, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ senior vice president, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran said: “Hajj travel is an extraordinary journey for Muslims which leaves them with a lifetime of memorable experiences, and we expect over 25,000 pilgrims to travel with Emirates this year.

"With the significant demand for air travel during this period, Emirates is deploying extra flights to ensure more seamless connections for the scores of pilgrims making their way to the holy city of Makkah. During their journey, we aim to provide our customers with the best experience that is aligned with the pillars of their faith, particularly during this significant period.”

On the ground in Dubai, Emirates said it has a dedicated airport team whose purpose is to seamlessly facilitate the passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in and transfer counters will be set up for Hajj passengers transiting in Dubai.

In the air, extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions, advising passengers about Al Miqat and Ihram - the phase when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity - and other arrangements that will help ease their journey.

Emirates’ ice system will also feature a special Hajj video that covers safety, Hajj formalities and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Holy Quran channel.

On flights from Jeddah, Hajj passengers can bring up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam) which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.

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