The first flight carrying the first batch of 426 Nigerian pilgrims and one official Tuesday afternoon left King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Sultan Abubakar International Airport, Sokoto aboard Flynas aircraft.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) confirmed the flight on Tuesday in Makkah Saudi Arabia.
The first flight marks the beginning of the homeward journey of the Nigerian pilgrims who participated in the just concluded hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It would be recalled that the Head of Aviation Matters of NAHCON, Engr. Mohammed Goni Sanda on Sunday at the post Arafah meeting in Makkah announced that the airlift of the Nigerian pilgrims back to Nigeria would commence on Tuesday, July 4.
He said the pilgrims would be airlifted back home in the order they were airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the hajj.
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Engr. Sanda added that all the air carriers were ready for the evacuation exercise.
He, however, said that the Saudi Arabia authorities wouldn’t allow air carriers to airlift pilgrims to their maximum capacity because of heavy traffic at the airport.
“This is just for this week and next week. After next week, all our air carriers are free to fly at maximum capacity,” he concluded.