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SA to consider giving 10 more hajj flights slots to Biman

Saudi Arabian Hajj and Umrah affairs deputy
minister Dr Abdul Fattah Sulaiman today assured that his government would
consider approving 10 more slot of dedicated hajj flight to Biman Bangladesh
airlines as per Dhaka’s request.

The assurance was made while Bangladesh ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr
Mohammad Javed Patwary called on the Saudi deputy minister at Makkah on
Wednesday, according to a message received here today.

During the meeting, the Saudi Deputy Minister lauded the devotion and
discipline of Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims and said his government has taken
different plan to make the hajj management further improved.

Dhaka had requested Saudi Arabia civil aviation authority to allow Biman to
operate 10 more hajj flights as Bangladesh flag carrier was forced to cancel

several hajj flights as some hajj agencies did not able to arrange accommodation and secure visa for the Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims before their
scheduled departure.

While contacted Biman Bangladesh Managing Director and CEO Shafiul Azim told
BSS that they are optimistic to get permission from Saudi Arabia Civil
Aviation Authority to operate 10 more hajj flights.

“We have some backup plan as well so that we can carry all hajj pilgrims on
time,” he said.

Biman chief alleged that there is lack of sincerity of some hajj agencies and
as a result Biman is losing money as well as got into pressure to carry all
hajj pilgrims on time.

“We have already informed the matter to the religious affairs ministry to
take action against the responsible agencies as per the law,” he said.

In the last two weeks, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has left more than 6,000
pilgrims behind and cancelled six Hajj flights.

The religious affairs ministry already sent show cause notices to 90 hajj
agencies on Sunday blaming them for the situation.

This year, a total of 122,221 pilgrims from Bangladesh are going to perform
hajj. Of them, nearly 62,000 will fly Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the rest
either Saudia airline or Flynas.