Air India changes stand on Zamzam water, allows Haj pilgrims to carry 5kg of holy water
Five days after Air India (AI) asked Haj pilgrims not to carry Zamzam water — from the holy spring in Mecca — back with them on two of its return flights from Saudi Arabia, the airline reversed its stand.
On Tuesday, AI issued a statement saying pilgrims flying in from Jeddah can carry a maximum 5kg of Zamzam water apart from 40kg of baggage.
Haj pilgrims from Mumbai will leave for Mecca on July 14.
Dhananjay Kumar, AI spokesperson, said, “Baggage allowance on all commercial flights operating out of Saudi Arabia is uniformly 40 kg. A special 5 kg allowance has been given to those passengers carrying Zamzam water”.
On July 4, AI’s circular said Zamzam cans will not be allowed on Air India flights operating between Jeddah -Hyderabad Mumbai and Jeddah – Cochin till September 15, owing to change of aircraft and limited seats.
In the clarification issued on Tuesday, Kumar said the earlier baggage weight limit for passengers on-board a Boeing 747 aircraft was 45 kgs, inclusive of Zamzam water cans, while for those on a Boeing 777 was 40 kgs.
“This year Air India is operating its B747 aircraft exclusively for Haj charters. Therefore, due to payload restrictions, Air India management has decided to restrict the baggage allowance to 40 kg only. A special allowance of 5kg is for Zamzam water,” said Kumar.
Maqsood Ahmed Khan, chief executive officer of the Haj Committee of India (HCOI), said that since there was confusion, HCOI had already spoken to AI to allow a 5-litre Zamzam can for each passenger travelling through private tour operators.
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