Northern Nigerian Breaking News

2022 Hajj: Kano rejects Azman air for pilgrims airlift

Kano State Government has rejected an airline, AZMAN Air designated for airlift of their pilgrims for 2022 Hajj exercise.

The Executive Secretary , Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Muhammad Abba Dambatta stated this on Monday.

Solacebase had reported that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) signed agreement with three airlines for the 2022 Hajj exercise.

The airlines are Max Air, Azman Air and FlyNas. The former two are Nigerian-based, while FlyNas is a Saudi Arabian-based airline.

Alhaji Dambatta, said they were surprised at NAHCON’s attitude in selecting airlines for states which has gone against the norms and practices of Hajj Operations over the years.

He explained that several meetings were held with NAHCON official’s both in Mecca and Abuja, and the Commission only told them that they have forwarded compiled names of proposed airlines to the Presidency for approvals.

Read Also: Hajj 2022: Inaugural flight takes off from Maiduguri with 546 pilgrims

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According to him, “As I’m talking to you now, our stand is still on Max Air and no going back I have paid Hajj deposit money of 60 percent, we have met all the requirements and the 19th date of our commencement of airlift is sacrosanct and we have informed Max Air to get ready no going back.’’

The two other Airlines engaged for the exercise , Max and Flynas have been transporting pilgrims from their assigned states since 9th of June but Azman is yet to commence.

Also a pilgrim Welfare board official of one of the designated state attached to AZMAN Air  for the Hajj exercise who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “we have already complained to NAHCON over the imposition of Azman as official Hajj carrier of my state pilgrims”.

Ha said the rejection of Azman is based on operational antecedent of the Airline and “their capacity to airlift such number of pilgrims assigned to them within the little time before the closure of King AbdulAziz international airport in Jeddah”.

“Look, I am not contending the technical criteria used by NAHCON to screen the airlines, but how can NAHCON allocate the two states with the largest number of pilgrims to a new entrant into the industry with questionable capacity and experience in Hajj airlift,” he queried.

He said airlift of Pilgrims is not like domestic flights because it is strictly time bound.

Reacting, the General Manager Azman Air who spoke to our correspondent through the phone, Alhaji Lawan Garba, said there is no such issue as rejection of Azman by states pilgrims boards. “Though, there are some states that are used to been airlifted by other airlines in previous Hajj operations and they might not be comfortable with us owing to some reasons. But you know that it was NAHCON that assigned states to us.”

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