The first hajj flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited (BG 1011) carrying 401 pilgrims left Dhaka at around 8:05 this morning for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon inaugurated the hajj flight when Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matiur Rahman was present at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to see off the first batch of hajj pilgrims. BSS
The national flag career would also operate a scheduled flight and two more dedicated flights for carrying the pilgrims today (Thursday), general manager (Public Relations) of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited Khan Musharraf Hussein told BSS.
Of which, a hajj flight (BG-3011) with 419 pilgrims would take off for Jeddah at 2:35pm and the other flight (BG-5011) carrying 419 pilgrims is scheduled to leave at 5:00pm, he said adding that the scheduled flight (BG-0035) with hajj pilgrims would fly for Jeddah at 11:59am.
According a ministry official, the state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited (BBAL) has taken all out preparations for operation of hajj flights smoothly. The Biman would also operate hajj flights from Chittagong and Sylhet as per its requirement.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the hajj activities-2016 (Hijri 1437) at Ashkona Haji Camp at Uttara in the capital on Wednesday.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines will carry 51,000 pilgrims out of total 1,01,758 from August 4 to October 16 by 281 flights including 200 dedicated flights and 61 scheduled flights, he said.
As per the Biman schedule, a total of 144 flights, including 112 dedicated and 32 scheduled ones, would ferry pilgrims from Dhaka to Jeddah from August 4 to September 5 to perform the holy hajj. On the other hand, 108 dedicated hajj flights and 29 scheduled flights would be operated for transportation of hajis from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh from September 17 to October 16.
The Biman has fixed its fare at USD 1,475 for each pilgrim from Dhaka-Jeddah-Dhaka for economy class, while USD 2,475 for business class.
A total of 1,01,758 Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims, including 5,200 under government management, are expected to perform the holy hajj on September 10 (Jilhaz 9) this year as per the official data provided by the Religious Affairs Ministry.
According to the hajj package 2016, the minimum cost of a pilgrim has been set at Taka 304,903, up by Taka 8,697 from the previous year.