– We’ll airlift all Nigerian intending pilgrims to Saudi within 25 days – NAHCON Boss
No fewer than 424 Nigerian pilgrims from Sokoto State on Sunday evening at exactly 17:20hrs were airlifted by FlyNas flight XY5602 from Sultan Abubakar III International Airport Sokoto to Madinah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for #Hajj2023.
With this figure released by NAHCON’s Command and Control Centre, a total of 5,518 Nigerian pilgrims are currently in the holy land since the commencement of the airlifting exercise on Thursday, May 25.
Muslim News gathered that FlyNas flight XY5734 had earlier departed the same Sokoto International Airport to Madinah at exactly 13:59hrs with 397 Zamfara pilgrims.
For the third time today (as of the time of filing this report), FlyNas, the Saudi Arabia airline also airlifted 429 Osun pilgrims from Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos to Madinah at 17:18hrs.
Our Correspondent learnt that the exercise began very early on Sunday at 05:08hrs when Aero flight NIG9007 airlifted 463 Nasarawa pilgrims and 12 Officials, from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to Madinah.
Later around 06:45hrs, MaxAir flight VM3005 departed Bauchi via Abuja to Madinah, Saudi Arabia, with 537 Nigerian pilgrims from Plateau and Benue States, including 19 Officials.
Air Peace flight P47904 also airlifted 272 Kwara pilgrims and departed Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos to Madinah at 10:58hrs.
The breakdown so far as at the time of filing this report on Sunday, May 28, at 18:53hrs.
1. Today 28/05/2023, Aero flight NIG9007 departed Abuja to Madinah at 05:08hrs with 463 Nasarawa pilgrims and 12 Officials.
2. Today 28/05/2023, MaxAir flight VM3005 departed Bauchi via Abuja to Madinah @ 06:45hrs with 537 pilgrims and 19 Officials.
Plateau (298) M=190, F=108
Benue (239) M=166, F= 73
Total Airlift =3,996
3. Today 28/05/2023, Air Peace flight P47904 departed Lagos to Madinah @ 10:57hrs with 272 Kwara pilgrims.
4. Today 28/05/2023, Flynas flight XY5734 departed Sokoto to Madinah @ 13:59hrs with 397 Zamfara pilgrims.
5. Today 28/05/2023, Flynas flight XY5718 departed Lagos to Madinah @ 17:18hrs with 429 Osun pilgrims.
6. Today 28/05/2023, Flynas flight XY5602 departed Sokoto to Madinah @ 17:20hrs with 424 Sokoto pilgrims.
Source: Command and Control (NAHCON)
Recall that the Commission Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, had said in his inaugural speech that all Nigerian pilgrims would have been airlifted to the Holy Land within the next 25 days, as he assured them of a hitch-free exercise.
In an interview with journalists on Thursday, May 25, after the official flag-off of the 2023 Hajj exercise at the Pilgrims Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, NAHCON Chairman noted that there are about 15 take-off points/cities across the country which the Commission is working on to ensure they are ready to support the plan to avoid any delay in airlifting of intending pilgrims.
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