Following the earlier announcement approving Max Air, Air Peace, and Flynas as the official airlines for airlifting Nigerian pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) hosted an Agreement Signing Ceremony in the Conference Hall of the Hajj House in Abuja. During the ceremony, the approved airlines signed a legally binding agreement on the airlift services they are to provide as the Hajj Season commences.

Addressing the event, NAHCON Chairman/CEO, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi expressed his expectation for the airlines to ensure a successful outing and emphasized the need for improvement to overcome the challenges witnessed in previous years.

He reminded the airlines that they have a name and reputation to protect, and thus, should strive for excellent service delivery while protecting the pilgrims.

He stated, “There have been challenges in the past where there were infractions but with the way we started, we will have understood where they came from. We have no doubt you will excel and things will be done in the positive. I want to prove the naysayers wrong that things have changed for the better.”

Representing the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Engr. Godwin Balang stated that the Agency has already commenced preparations ahead of time. Fifteen aerodromes have been inspected, and all issues have been communicated and are presently being addressed ahead of the airlift commencement.

Recall that the approved airlines are scheduled to provide airlift services for pilgrims from different states of the Federation. Max Air, with the highest allocation, will provide airlift services for pilgrims from Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Oyo, Taraba, Kaduna, Gombe, Jigawa, Plateau States, and the Armed Forces.

Air Peace is to airlift pilgrims from Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kwara, Ondo, and Rivers State, while Flynas will airlift Pilgrims from Lagos, Borno, Niger, Kebbi, Yobe, Osun, Ogun, Sokoto, and Zamfara States respectively.