The Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation has set 3rd of March 2019 as deadline for airliners to submit request for slots allocation for 2019 Hajj operations.
This deadline was announced during recently concluded 2019 Hajj preparations meeting between GACA and NAHCON representatives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
This was contained in a statement signed by the commission’s Head of Public Affairs Unit, Fatima Sanda Usara
The statement said that “both parties agreed that delays and some flight cancellations experienced during 2018 Hajj were not due to shortcomings of the carriers but as a result of the dynamics of Hajj services and other environmental factors.
“It would be recalled that during 2018 Hajj operations, some challenges faced by Nigerian Hajj organizers included airlift slots allocation and issue of small capacity of aircraft deployed to convey pilgrims back and forth Saudi Arabia in some cases. The conditions regrettably led to some inconveniences and additional operational costs to carriers awaiting slots allocation”.
Consequently, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, made a strong case to representatives of GACA, on the situation when the two sides met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during the just concluded first pre-Hajj visit.
During the meeting, NAHCON Commissioner of Operations who represented the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Modibbo Saleh, spelt out NAHCON’s plans to forestall a repeat of the 2018 challenges, among which is the Commission’s resolve to determine early allocation of air carriers to states with the corresponding number of pilgrims to each carrier based on agreed criteria.