The Saudi Arabia Aviation Authorities has disqualified three Nigerian carriers from airlifting pilgrims to their country for the 2016 Hajj. The federal government had approved six airline operators to transport intending pilgrims for the exercise.
Speaking on the development, the Head of Aviation, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mohammadu Goni, said the disqualified airlines are Dornier Aviation Nigeria AEP Ltd; Top Brass and Azman Air Services.
According to Goni, the airlines approved by the Saudi authorities are Med-View Airlines Ltd.; Max Air Ltd. and Fly-Nas Air (Saudi Arabian designated carrier). Goni said that the three carriers disqualified from transporting Nigerian pilgrims for the 2016 Hajj were those not cleared by the Saudi Arabian aviation authorities.
Goni, however, said that the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) cleared only three airlines out of the six nominated by the Federal Government.
He said the airlines approved by the Saudi authorities are: Med-View Airlines Ltd.; Max Air Ltd. and Fly-Nas Air (Saudi Arabian designated carrier).
Goni explained that only these three airlines were designated to fly the route between the two countries.
He said that NAHCON had made concerted efforts to ensure that Saudi Arabian Government allowed the three disqualified airlines to participate in the exercise, but to no avail.
He said that the commission forwarded the report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Aviation for diplomatic intervention, but that Saudi Arabia did not grant its request.
Goni also said that it was a standing rule that all Hajj participating countries must abide by the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority’s condition in order to participate in the Hajj.