The Federal Government has approved 12 airports for the forthcoming Hajj exercise to Saudi Arabia, this is in addition to approving five airlines to airlift pilgrims to the holy land which commences on the September 17 next month.
Also, the government had met with stakeholders, including designated airlines, state governments, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and oil marketers to ensure seamless hajj operations this year.
Some of the approved airports for the exercise are Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Gombe, Katsina, Yola, Ilorin, Minna and Lagos.
Briefing journalists yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Haorld Demuren said the industry and states involved are ready for the exercise.
He explained that in a bid to have a hitch-free exercise, the regulatory authority had been meeting with FAAN, fuel marketers, designated carriers and states involved to ensure there were no disruptions during Hajj operations.
He explained further that the designated carriers, Max Air, Meridien Air, Kabo, Mediview and Trade Kraft have all indicated their readiness to carry out a hitch free exercise, adding that the country performed creditably well in the previous exercise.
He informed that Max Air would be using four aircraft, Meridien Air 1, Kabo three while Medivew had deployed two aircraft for the exercise, stressing that the operators would be using Boeing 747-200, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 767-200 to airlift pilgrims to the holy land.