Emirates Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates has announced that it will add 46 flights to facilitate pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Haj.

The expansion of flights will operate from July 27 to August 22 to support the Haj journey to the city of Mecca.

Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, commercial operations for the Gulf, Middle East and Iran said: “Haj is one of the most significant events in the Muslim faith, and every year, Emirates’ primary focus is to help facilitate seamless travel for our Haj passengers as they converge on the Holy city of Mecca for this once in a lifetime journey.”

The services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina, and will be available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa.

“With the substantial increase of inbound air travel into the Kingdom during this period, Emirates’ 46 extra flights will ensure that we can cater to that demand, as well as provide tailored onboard services in line with the tenets of Hajj,” said Al Ghaith.

This year, Emirates expects thousands of pilgrims to travel on its services for Hajj, coming from top inbound destinations such as Pakistan, the United States, Senegal, the UK, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

Extra services

To ease the journey for Haj passengers, Emirates has commissioned a dedicated team to manage check-in and transfers for the seamless movement of travellers leaving from and transiting in Dubai.

On flights from Jeddah, Haj passengers can also bring up to five litres of Zamzam holy water which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.

Once up in the air, Haj travellers will benefit from special services to performing ablutions and other cleansing rituals, and will also be notified when they enter Al Miqat zones to ensure readiness for Ihram – the point when pilgrims enter a state of purity.