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Airlift will resume within 24 hrs, Arik Air begs stranded Saudi-bound pilgrims

Arik Air has explained why some of the intending pilgrims belonging to private tour operators were stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.…

Arik Air has explained why some of the intending pilgrims belonging to private tour operators were stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

Daily Trust had earlier reported how the pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj have been sleeping at the airport for the past four days following the delay in their airlift.

Arik Air had been contracted by the tour operators to convey their pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The airline in a statement appealed to the pilgrims for their understanding, saying the delay over the airlift is being addressed.

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The statement sent to our correspondent by Arik Air Media Consultant, Mr. Simon Tumba read, “The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) selected Arik Air as the carrier to work with the Tour Operators for this year’s hajj exercise.

“The airline was allocated about 10,000 pilgrims spread across Abuja, Lagos and Kano. We commenced the airlift of pilgrims in both Abuja and Lagos on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 and we have carried 374 passengers to date.

“The issues involved in the smooth operation of the airlift are currently being addressed by all parties involved; Arik Air, NAHCON and the Tour Operators.

“We hereby assure the pilgrims that as soon as we resolve the issues within the next 24 hours, the airlift will resume simultaneously in Abuja, Lagos and Kano.

“We appeal for the understanding of all concerned and apologise for the inconvenience the slow pace of airlift may have caused the intending pilgrims and all the parties involved.”

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