Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) With the significant demand for air travel during Hajj, Emirates is deploying extra flights to ensure more connectivity for the scores of pilgrims making their way to the Holy City of Makkah. Emirates will be operating special flights to Jeddah and Medina during the upcoming Hajj season to carry pilgrims for this special period.
Emirates will be deploying 31 additional flights to Jeddah and double daily flights to Medina from 23 June to 20 July to help transport pilgrims to carry out one of the key pillars of Islam. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has greatly expanded its Hajj participation this year to nearly a million pilgrims. This year, Emirates has seen strong demand for Hajj travel from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malaysia, the UK, US, UAE and Algeria.
The special services are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. Pilgrims must also be under the age of 65, hold a valid vaccination certificate with a vaccine authorised by the Saudi Ministry of Health, and must also carry a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of departure.
A pilgrim-centric experience with Emirates
Given the significance of the once-in-a-lifetime Hajj experience, the airline’s teams have been working hard to ensure that every detail of the pilgrim’s experience is aligned with the tenets of their faith.
On the ground in Dubai, Emirates has a special Hajj airport team to help manage check-in, transfers, and helping to facilitate a seamless and convenient on ground experience for Hajj pilgrims. Emirates has also set up dedicated check-in and transfer counters for Hajj passengers transiting in Dubai. For Hajj travellers having a longer layover in Dubai before continuing on to Jeddah or Medina, dedicated teams are on hand to escort those groups and support them on all of their arrival formalities.
From the moment pilgrims step onto the aircraft, a range of initiatives have been planned in keeping with the values and traditions of the Hajj journey.
Extra provisions to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as ablution cleansing rituals, unperfumed towels, advising passengers while en route to Jeddah about when they have entered Al Miqat zones (state of sanctity) and changing of Ihram robes through special PAs, and other arrangements have been planned to ease their journey and ready them for the rest of their pilgrimage. Emirates’ award winning ice system will also feature a special Hajj video that covers safety, general formalities and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Holy Quran channel, in addition to other religious content.
On flights from Jeddah, passengers can check-in up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam), which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.