First batch of pilgrims from Bauchi State have left for Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Hajj.
The Max Air took off from Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport at 11:20 am Saturday with 514 intending pilgrims after their screening at the Hajj Transit Camp in Bauchi metropolis.
The pilgrims airlifted were drawn from Ningi, Bauchi, Warji, Katagum, Misau, Zaki and Gamawa local government areas.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the flight took off, Executive Secretary of the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, said all flights from Bauchi will head straight to Madina.
According to him, adequate arrangements had been made to ensure the success of the airlift and the entire Hajj exercise.
Some of the intending pilgrims however lamented the late arrival of the plane which forced them to spend the night at the airport.
They therefore urged the state government to address the challenge and ensure the success of the exercise.