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Saudia launches operational activities for Hajj season of 2024; welcomes first group of pilgrims from Hyderabad

Saudia launches operational activities for Hajj season of 2024; welcomes first group of pilgrims from Hyderabad

Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has officially launched its operational activities for the Hajj season of 2024 with the first group of pilgrims arriving at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina on flight SV3753 from Hyderabad, India. The flight carried 283 guests on board.

The pilgrims received a warm welcome in the presence of distinguished guests, including H.E. Engr. Saleh Al-Jasser, the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, H.H. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, and H.E. Abdulfattah Mashat, the Vice Minister of Hajj and Umrah. Additionally, several officials from Tibah Airports Operation Company were present to mark this special occasion.

H.E. Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, stated, “Saudia is proud to provide pilgrims from around the world with exceptional air transportation services and enrich their travel experience in alignment with the objectives of Vision 2030. We play a fundamental role in providing everything needed to serve the pilgrims in the best possible way.”

Saudia Hajj Season 2024

Over 1.2 million seats have been allocated through optimal investment in its fleet of more than 150 aircraft, distinguished by operational efficiency and quality services. This initiative is in line with the directives of the Saudi leadership, supported by collaboration with various entities involved in serving Hajj pilgrims.

The operational period for the national flag carrier during Hajj Season 2024, encompassing both inbound and outbound stages, spans 74 days starting from May 9, 2024. Saudia Group has proactively formed specialised teams distributed among performance monitoring, terminal operations, follow-up, and coordination with other sectors. Additionally, operational resources have been allocated across the lounges of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, and an emergency plan has been developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, numerous virtual simulations have been conducted across both Jeddah and Madinah international airports.

Saudia Group will welcome Hajj pilgrims through five domestic airports, including Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Dammam, and Yanbu, with more than 11,000 frontline employees and aircraft maintenance technicians, ensuring smooth flow of movement at the airports as well as operational efficiency. Additionally, 120,000 pilgrims will be served through the “Makkah Route” initiative which is designed to streamline the immigration process for pilgrims to Makkah. Saudia will also continue its “Luggage First” service, and 270,000 bags will be handled as well as 240,000 Zamzam bottles.

Amer Al Khushail, CEO of Saudia Hajj and Umrah, said: “The national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia is honored to continue its pivotal role in serving pilgrims, ensuring their spiritual journey is enriched in line with the objectives of Vision 2030. Each year, we integrate the efforts across all sectors as we strive to enhance pilgrims’ satisfaction by implementing initiatives that streamline arrival procedures and airport check-in processes”.

“In preparation for the Hajj season, Saudia is committed to signing agreements with government delegations and travel agents, to ensure providing appropriate seat capacity for markets with high demand across over a hundred destinations in four continents. We offer seamless bookings through Saudia’s offices and online channels, we have also designed awareness campaigns regarding luggage acceptance criteria.” added Al Khashil.

Saudia offers a number of initiatives to enhance the pilgrims’ experience. These begin with the issuance of outbound and inbound boarding passes. With a commitment to seamless communication, Saudia’s multilingual staff, proficient in more than 30 languages, ensure efficient service delivery at the highest standards. The airline also offers diverse meal options onboard, catering to all tastes.

Saudia aircraft have been specially equipped, featuring screens that will display announcements of Miqat (a boundary for pilgrims to start intent for the performance of Ḥajj) and prayer times. These screens also offer over 300,000 minutes of Islamic content aimed at educating pilgrims on rituals and Kingdom regulations, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Saudia prioritises accessibility, providing transport for individuals with disabilities, along with medical stretchers and oxygen equipment onboard as needed. Moreover, Saudia continues its luggage collection service from pilgrims’ residences, streamlining travel procedures for return flights after the pilgrimage rites.