Stranded Pilgrims at Lagos Airport Thousands of Nigerian intending pilgrims have been left stranded at the Lagos airport, just days before the reported closure of Saudi Arabia airspace. As reported by The PUNCH, individuals going through licensed Hajj and Umrah operators have faced flight hitches, resulting in overnight stays at airports across the country. The situation has caused frustration and disappointment among the affected pilgrims, who are uncertain about when they will be able to proceed with their journey.
Flight Delays and Airlift Resumption Flight delays, particularly by Arik Air, have contributed to the challenges faced by the pilgrims. Arik Air, responsible for airlifting a significant number of passengers, has only managed to transport 300 out of approximately 7,000 allocated to them by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria. However, the airline has assured that the airlift will resume within 24 hours. The situation has left many pilgrims feeling let down and concerned about the realization of their long-held dreams of performing Hajj.
Assurance and Efforts by Authorities The National President of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Nasidi Yahaya, emphasized that all necessary measures are being taken to airlift the remaining pilgrims before the closure of Saudi Arabia’s airspace. Collaborative efforts involving the General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, the Hajj Commission, and the operators are underway. Plans are being made to secure slots for immediate flights with larger aircraft provided by Max Air. The authorities have assured the public that there is no cause for alarm.