Religion of Saturday, 6 October 2012
Alhaji Alhassan Benne, Chairman of the National Hajj Committee, has disclosed that about 2,219 Ghanaian pilgrims have so far been airlifted to Madina, Saudi Arabia, to perform their religious rites.
He said about 3,170 pilgrims are left to be airlifted to perform their religious rites and that the last flight would be leaving the soil of Ghana on the 12 October.
Alhaji Benne disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Thursday in Accra.
He said Egypt Air was the official airline which was airlifting pilgrims to the Holy Land and that the Hajj Committee is working with the airline on a daily flight schedule to Saudi Arabia.
Alhaji Benne said seven flights had so far departed with 10 more scheduled flights yet to depart. He added that should the need arise, more flights would be added to the schedule.
He said for 2012, Ghana has about 5,700 pilgrims to be airlifted to Saudi Arabia to perform their religious rites.
According to official timetable obtained by GNA, the Hajj is expected to fall between October 24-29.
Hijri dates for 1433H (2012) Hajj and Umrah seasons are as follows:
The first day of arrival in the Kingdom for pilgrims is September 27, whilst the last date for arrival of pilgrims in the Kingdom by air at the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, or at the Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Madina, is 20th October.
The last date for pilgrims to travel from Jeddah to Madina by bus is October 11 and last date for pilgrims to travel from Jeddah to Madina by air is October 18, while the last date for pilgrims to travel from Madina to Makkah by bus (before Hajj) is October 21.
The last date for pilgrims to travel from Madina to Jeddah by air (before Hajj) is October 22, with the final date for departure (return trip) being November 29.
The Hajj village was relocated to the Kotoka International Airport area following the Allied Air Cargo Boeing 727-200 crash at the original village near the El Wak Sports Stadium.