Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it is operating additional flights between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the movement of thousands of pilgrims for Hajj.
Until August 28, Etihad said it will operate special charters to carry pilgrims on its additional flights to Jeddah and Madinah Airport. All flights will operate alongside regular scheduled services.
The top inbound destinations for the Hajj Etihad flights are the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, and Nigeria, it added in a statement.
Hareb Mubarak Al Muhairi, Etihad Airways’ senior vice president, said: “The Hajj pilgrimage is a very important experience for Muslims around the world and Etihad is proud to help its customers make this significant journey.
“This year we see a 17 percent increase in the number of pilgrims travelling with Etihad compared the same period last year. To meet this increasing demand, Etihad Airways are adding 16 flights alongside our scheduled services to Jeddah and Madinah."
Etihad said a dedicated group of airport staff is available to facilitate a seamless ground experience for Hajj travellers. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up at Abu Dhabi international airport.
Extra provisions will also be made by cabin crew to meet pilgrims’ needs and requirements and to facilitate the performing of ablutions, advising them about the entry into Al Miqat (state of sanctity), and the changing into Ihram robes.
Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Etihad E-Box inflight entertainment system’s dedicated Holy Quran channel, or to view the direction of the Qibla.
On return flights from both cities, Etihad Airways will permit Hajj pilgrims to carry a five litre container of Zamzam water free of charge, and will provide extra care for its handling.
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