Hajj flights start July 4, return flights from Aug 17: HAAB

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Dhaka, May 11: This year’s Hajj flights will start from July 4 and continue until August 5, the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) announced Saturday.The return flights will begin from August 17, HAAB President Shahadat Hossain told the media at a city hotel in the capital.

Pilgrims going for the holy Hajj and Umrah and migrant workers going to Middle East are, however, facing difficulties due to a sudden rise in the air fare as a number of foreign carriers reduced the frequency of flight operations from Dhaka recently, he said.

Apart from that, UAE-based Fly Dubai and Etihad Airways stopped their operations completely in Bangladesh, which created a crisis of seats, Taslim added.

The Haab secretary general urged the government to take necessary steps including initiation of open sky policy to solve this complicated problem.

“Otherwise, migrant workers of our country who are currently in Bangladesh for vacation would lose their visas for not showing up at their respective work places in time,” he added.

Last month, Biman General Manager (public relations) Shakil Meraj said that the national flag carrier will carry half of this year’s 127,198 pilgrims.

Bangladeshi pilgrims can now complete the immigration procedure from Dhaka airport before heading to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, pilgrims were required to wait in the aircraft after landing in Saudi Arabia to complete the procedure – sometimes waiting for up to six hours.