Following the $250 (N115,625) increase in flight ticket for the 2023 Hajj airlift, the Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organisation monitoring Hajj and Umrah activities in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia yesterday appealed to the federal and state governments to subsidise the increase for the intending Hajj pilgrims.
Daily Trust reports that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had announced an increase of $250 in the air fare component of the hajj flight after a meeting with the six domestic airlines participating in the airlift.
The earlier decision to postpone the agreement signing was hinged on the ongoing Sudan war and the closure of the Sudanese airspace, which was not factored in the earlier proposed fare since the airlines would now be forced to fly longer hours while trying to bypass the Sudan airspace.
Our correspondent gathered exclusively that the earlier agreed flight ticket was $1,783 (N823,746.00) and $2,026 (N936,012.00) for North and South respectively.
Following the increase, the CSO called for the intervention of the federal and state governments by subsidising the increase.
The Hajj Reporters in a statement by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammad appealed that the federal government should take 50 per cent while states should pay the balance of 50 per cent for the number of intending pilgrims from their states.
The CSO said, “We are worried that with less than 10 days to the commencement of airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, asking pilgrims to pay the difference at this time will definitely derail the airlift exercise.”