Egypt, Saudi Arabia approve additional Hajj flights

A settlement has been reached over the shortage in flights for Egyptian Hajj pilgrims this year, an official at the Egyptian Travel Agents Association said on Thursday.

The association previously revealed that 80 percent of Hajj flights providers were facing a crisis as Egyptian and Saudi airlines backtracked on providing additional flights.

EgyptAir is scheduled to organize 320 flights to Saudi Arabia's Jeddah and Medina from airports in Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut, and Luxor.

The head of the association's economic panel, Basel al-Sisy, said Saudi Airlines promises extra flights this season. He pointed to communications between officials at both countries, where favors for travel companies – that had already made reservations at Saudi hotels for its clients – were discussed.

Sisy explained that the companies found that the number of flights did not match the rate of reservations, noting that Egyptian and Saudi officials are working to solve the problem.

In August, more than 10,000 Umra pilgrims were stranded for a week at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jedda after failing to secure seats with Saudi Airlines, despite having made prior reservations.

Saudi Airlines defended its stance by saying that passengers failed to comply with the dates stated in their reservations and that they violated rules pertaining to baggage weight.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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