Amid Go First bankruptcy, Saudia to take Haj pilgrims from U.P. to Medina
As the matter was related to the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, officials managed to convince Saudia authorities to take the 3,000 Haj pilgrims to Medina from Lucknow airport.
LUCKNOW In a major relief for the Haj pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, their trip to the holy city of Medina won’t be affected due to the grounding of Go First Airlines. These pilgrims will now be ferried to Medina in Saudi Arabian Airlines (now Saudia) flights.
Earlier, 12 Go First aircraft were to take 3,000 state-based pilgrims from Varanasi to Medina. However, a crisis situation emerged after the aviation company filed for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal.
Following this, the Haj Committee of India, the U.P. Haj Committee, and the state minority welfare ministry swung into action. In wake of the crisis, Mohsin Raza, the Minister of State for Minority Welfare Muslim Waqf and Haj, approached Saudia to arrange extra flights from Lucknow so that all the pilgrims, who had to board the plane from Varanasi, can board the flight from Lucknow, if not from Varanasi.
As the matter was related to the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, officials managed to convince Saudia authorities to take the 3,000 Haj pilgrims to Medina from Lucknow airport. “All these passengers will now go to Medina in 12 flights,” said Raza.
The minister added, “Those who will catch flights from Lucknow would have to pay a lesser amount as ticket price from Lucknow is lesser than what it would cost from Varanasi. The first flight of these passengers will leave from Amausi airport on June 8 and the last flight will leave on June 19. These pilgrims will be sent by road to Mecca Mukarrama after offering 40 prayers in Medina Munawara for eight days. The total stay of these pilgrims in Medina Munawara and Mecca Mukarrama will be that of 43 days. The return of these passengers will be from Jeddah to Lucknow.”
Raza further said, “I informed chief minister Yogi Adityanath about the issue, and he pledged us full support. Subsequently, Saudia was contacted and now, everything has been arranged. The reporting of these passengers will be done three days in advance at the Maulana Ali Miyan Memorial Haj house in Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh State Haj Committee will make special arrangements as this matter is related to the pilgrims of PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi and its surrounding districts.”
On Wednesday, Raza met CM Yogi in this regard. “Today, I apprised the CM about the Haj preparations. He has asked me to ensure the best of facilities for the pilgrims.” On the day, Raza presented a mace to the CM, which is believed to be the weapon of Lord Hanuman.