Biman to use own planes for Hajj20 August 2014 bdnews24.com
Biman Bangladesh Airlines will for the first time use its own aircraft only to fly Hajj pilgrims from the country this year."The first Biman flight with Hajj pilgrims will leave Dhaka at 7am on August 27. Biman will take care of all the Hajj flights with its own planes this time," Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told bdnews24.com.He said, Biman would ferry at least 50,000 passengers this season. "But preparations will be made to handle 2,000 more."Chairman of the national carrier Jamal Uddin Ahmed said the airline will use three Boeing 777 to handle the pressure. "Apart from them, there will be 22 scheduled Hajj flights."Biman, however, will have to withdraw some regular flights to cope with the Hajj-bound traffic.Flights only on the Delhi and Hong Kong routes will be suspended during the Hajj season, Menon said. Biman resumed its Delhi and Hong Kong flights on May 4 and May 13 last year after a one-year gap. Based on moon sighting, the Hajj may take place on Oct 4. Hajj flights will start from Aug 27 and end on Sept 28, while the return flights will begin on Oct 8 and are likely to continue until Nov 8. Of the total 248 Hajj flights, Biman will fly 125 of them and rest 123 will be flown by Saudi Arabian Airlines and Nas Air. A total of 98,705 pilgrims from Bangladesh, under both private management and government arrangements, will take part this year in the biggest congregation of the Muslims.Meanwhile, all preparations at the Hajj Camp at Dhaka's Ashkona for the pilgrims have been completed, said the camp Director Mizanur Rahman."Under government arrangement, 1,600 people will go to Hajj this year and the rest will be going through 835 agencies.""Data entry has been done. Everyone has been given an ID from our website which will help them to get necessary information," he said.Rahman said, the pilgrims would have to report at the camp from Aug 24. "They will be given some training. Preparations including the immigration process of those who will take Biman flights will be done at the camp."Their medical check-up will be done at the Hajj Camp, too, he added.Mizanur Rahman said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inaugurate the Hajj process on August 26.