HSIA ramps up facilities, services to ensure smooth transportation of Hajj pilgrims

- A Monitor Special Date: 16 May, 2024

Dhaka : Over 85,000 hajj pilgrims will be travelling from Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the holy Hajj this year. Hajj flight operations at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport began on May 9 with 5-8 flights departing the airport every day.

So far, hajj flight operations and pilgrim transportation from Dhaka Airport have been running smoothly with concerted efforts of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Authority and Biman Bangladesh Airlines. 

Group Captain Muhammed Kamrul Islam, Executive Director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at his office in the capital recently.

"Every year, we put utmost priority in operating hajj flights smoothly to transport our respected hajj pilgrims from Dhaka to Saudi Arabia. We leave no stones unturned in ensuring a completely hassle-free travel experience to pilgrims," said Kamrul Islam.

This year, hajj pilgrims will be travelling to Saudi Arabia from Dhaka via three airlines-Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Flynas.

From May 9 to June 12, a total of 236 flights will be operated from Dhaka to Saudi Arabia during the pre-hajj season. After Eid al-Adha, the return flights from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh will begin, informed the Executive Director.

Now, HSIA's preparations to ensure smooth transportation of hajj pilgrims begin even before pilgrims arrive at the airport. It begins from the Hajj camp which is like an extended airport, claimed Kamrul Islam. 

The hajj camp is equipped with all the facilities and services that an airport features like trolleys, waiting lounge, luggage scanners etc.

There are separate check-in counters for every airline at the hajj camp, said the Executive Director, adding, 45-50 civil aviation personnel have been deployed there to ensure quality services to hajj pilgrims.

KSA’s arrival immigration of hajj pilgrims taking place at HSIA under Road to Makkah initiative

Departure immigration from Dhaka takes place at the Hajj camp. After which, the pilgrims arrive at HSIA by bus. Every bus has a demonstrator holding placards with instructions to guide the pilgrims.

Also, to ensure smoother travel from the Hajj camp to the airport, authorities even cooperate with Dhaka Traffic Division North, informed the Executive Director of HSIA.

After arriving at HSIA, the pilgrims enter the airport through Gate Five and another adjacent gate, dedicated for hajj pilgrims. The scanning and screening of hajj pilgrims before boarding takes place at the gate.

Then, airport's representatives holding placards with instructions escort the pilgrims to the boarding area.

Now, the airport has two dedicated boarding bridges-10 and 11- for Hajj pilgrims especially during the Hajj season, said Kamrul Islam. 

Also, under the initiative Road to Makkah, the Saudi Arabia's arrival immigration of the pilgrims takes place by those two boarding bridges at Dhaka Airport. 

There are 66 Saudi immigration officers and 15 counters at the Saudi Arabia's arrival immigration wing in HSIA, informed Kamrul Islam.

Also, there are three lounges at the Route to Makkah wing of the airport where pilgrims of three flights can sit and wait comfortably at a time, further mentioned the Executive Director.

Since the Saudi Arabia's arrival immigration takes place at Dhaka Airport, after arriving in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims directly go to their respective hotels where their luggage await.

Apart from all these, HSIA offers many other facilities and services to make the travel experience of Hajj pilgrims comfortable.

For instance, the airport has a prayer room which can accommodate 500 pilgrims at a time. The airport is also offering complimentary snacks and gift packs to the pilgrims.

A dedicated task force has been formed to ensure smooth transportation of pilgrims and Hajj flight operations. Lastly, health services are also available at HSIA to cater to Hajj pilgrims.

Share this post

Also on Bangladesh Monitor