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SA announces flight schedule

32000 Hajj tickets sold by Biman

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Kamruzzaman Bablu :
Biman Bangladesh Airlines have sold 32,000 tickets from its sale centres, including Dhaka, for performing Hajj this year. Among them, 26,175 tickets were in the capital, 4203 in Chattogram, 1,442 in Shylhet and 79 in Cox's Bazar respectively.
While several private agencies paid 42,278 pay orders for Biman tickets 7000 tickets were sought under government management, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Biman Bangladesh Airlines, sources said.
The sources said, Saudi Airlines is yet to confirm sale of any tickets for Hajj pilgrims this year. However, a number of agencies have placed 16,361 pay orders for Saudi Airlines' tickets.
Seeking annonimity, a concerned senior official of Religious Ministry said on Thursday that the Saudi Airlines has announced its flight schedule for Hajj this year. They would start sale of tickets within  couplle of days, he added.
A total of 127,198 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj this year and of them, 120,000 will go under private management.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines has already started selling of tickets for hajj passengers recently as the national flag carrier is scheduled to begin its hajj flight from July 4.
Biman will transport 63,599 pilgrims to the Saudi Arabia.
The national flag carrier will operate 157 dedicated flights and 32 schedule flights in 32 days, from July 4 to August 5.
For the first time, Biman will operate 11 hajj flights per day from Dhaka to Madina.
Besides, 10 Hajj flights will also be operated on Chattogram-Jeddah route, three flights on Sylhet-Jeddah and seven dedicated flights on Chattogram-Medina route. There will be 126 flights on Dhaka-Jeddah route.
Return flights will start from August 17 and end on September 14.
Sources said, getting hassle free tickets of Saudi Airlines was a big challenge even in last year due to monopoly of selling tickets by some particular travel agencies. Those agencies used to do monopoly business by creating artificial crisis of tickets.
To resolve the problems, the concerned ministry took a decision at inter-ministerial meeting that Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines must sale tickets through all Hajj agencies so that anomalies are curbed in the process.
According to the meeting decision, the authorities would not issue Hajj visa for Bangladeshi pilgrims without confirmation of air tickets. Without conformation of tickets, Ashkona Hajj office would not receive any passport for processing Hajj visa.
"The pilgrims, who will go to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj this year under the government and private management, must confirm their tickets to process Hajj visa within June 16." a high official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs told The New Nation.
Meanwhile, Hajj activity for this year is running trough 598 agencies. Some 11,3789 pilgrims ID have been served through the agencies where 3,323 persons enlisted names as guide.
Besides, till Wednesday 8,100 passports were enlisted through e-Hajj system. Some 346 agencies issued 55,769 pay orders to buy tickets.

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