Dubai: Etihad Airways is adding 15 extra flights between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia from July 28 to August 25 to facilitate the movement of thousands of pilgrims during the Haj season.
Additionally, Etihad will operate six chartered flights dedicated to the General Authority of Islamic Affairs, Shaikh Zayed Foundation and Abu Dhabi Police. The outbound flights will operate from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah and Madina between August 1 and August 5, with return flights scheduled for August 16 and August 17.
Houssam Weiss, head of UAE Sales at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad has been operating Haj flights since 2007 and we remain committed to providing our additional services during this important season for the Muslim world. In total, we carried approximately 300,000 pilgrims to the city of Makkah to perform Haj.”
“This year, we expect approximately 25,000 Haj travellers on our flights, with most originating in Australia, Pakistan, Morocco, United Kingdom, India and Indonesia, travelling via our Abu Dhabi hub.”
Extra provisions will be made inflight by the cabin crew to meet pilgrims’ requirements, including ablutions, advising them about the entry into Al Miqat (state of sanctity), and changing into Ihram robes.
On return flights from Saudi Arabia, Etihad Airways will permit Haj pilgrims to carry a five-litre container of Zamzam water free of charge and will provide extra care for its handling.