Airlines, NAHCON agree on $250 Hajj fare increase
Zikrullah Hassan, the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission, has disclosed that the four Nigerian airlines designated to transport pilgrims for the 2023 Hajj exercise have asked for a fare hike of $250. These airlines are Air Peace, Azman, Max Air, and Aero Contractors. According to Hassan, the airlines made the request due to the ongoing crisis in Sudan, which has lengthened the travel duration to Saudi Arabia. Speaking during a training exercise for staff of NAHCON, state pilgrim boards, and private tour operators in Abuja on Saturday, Hassan stated that they were exploring all possible options to resolve the issue. However, he assured pilgrims that they would not be required to pay any additional money to their respective pilgrim boards, despite the additional cost. The request for a fare hike has caused concern among Nigerian pilgrims, who are already struggling with the financial burden of the holy pilgrimage. The commission is set to commence a 25-day strategic airlift operation plan on May 25, 2023, and an advance team, including medical and hajj officials, will depart for Saudi Arabia on May 21.