The Ministry of Religious Affairs sent a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism on Monday, requesting to operate Hajj flights from June 5 instead of May 31, stating that Saudi Arabia has not completed its preparations in the Bangladesh part.
The letter states, “Under the Saudi government’s Route to Mecca initiative, this year’s 100% of the pilgrims who will travel to Saudi Arabia via Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport are to complete their immigration to Saudi Arabia while in Dhaka.
The decision to operate the first Hajj flight was taken on May 31 after consulting with the Saudi authorities regarding this matter.
Besides, all kinds of preparations are also made by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
However, on Monday a representative of the Saudi authorities in charge of implementing the Route to Mecca initiative came to the Ministry of Religious Affairs to inform them that the Saudi team comprising 40 staff members will not be able to reach Dhaka before 2nd June.
The device which is required to complete the pre-arrival immigration processing has not reached Dhaka yet and will come with the Saudi team.
This device needs to be installed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and this could take some time.
As a result, it would be absolutely impossible for them to complete the pre-arrival immigration processing of the pilgrims travelling from Dhaka before the 5th of June.
The letter further said that if the first Hajj flight starts on May 31, it will not be possible to complete the pre-arrival immigration process in Dhaka as expected by the Hajj pilgrims of Bangladesh.
According to the expectation of Bangladeshi pilgrims, the first Hajj flight will be a dedicated flight and with the intention of completing the pre-arrival immigration process in Dhaka, the Hajj flights needs to start on the 5th of June instead of the 31st of May.
In this regard, the letter requested to take the necessary steps to start the first Hajj flight on 5 June instead of 31 May.
The holy Hajj will be held in Saudi Arabia on July 8, subject to the sighting of the moon. This year 57,585 Bangladeshi pilgrims will get the chance to perform Hajj. Among these pilgrims, 4,000 people are registered through government management and 53,585 pilgrims through private sectors.