RIYADH, January 14 (CIC) – Over 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to travel via the Hajj and Umrah terminals at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah from this Umrah season, according to data released by the airport.
The arrival of Umrah pilgrims this year is “expected to significantly increase during the coming months, as we move closer to the holy month of Ramadan, which often witnesses an influx of large numbers of pilgrims”, said the Director General of the airport, Abdullah bin Massad Al-Raimi.
“According to the operational plan for the Umrah season, the airport is expected to receive about 10 million pilgrims, arrivals and departures. They will be served by more than 27 governmental and community agencies with full human capacity to provide services to pilgrims. The plan also includes the preparation of seven arrival and seven departure halls,” Al-Raimi said in a statement carried by the official Saudi News Agency (SPA).
Ramadan is expected to start around mid-May this year. The current Umrah season started in late October 2017 and will end in early July, 2018. Umrah is the minor pilgrimage which is undertaken by Muslims outside of the official Hajj pilgrimage.
According to the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Jeddah’s new King Abdul Aziz International Airport will initially open in May.
Abdul Hakim Al Tamimi, the head of the authority, said that the new airport “includes 810,000 square metres of terminals, 200 counters design for completion of travel procedures and 80 self-service counters”.
Air transport is preferred over other modes of transport by Umrah and Hajj pilgrims, both within and outside the Kingdom. “The number of Hajj pilgrims arriving by air in 2017 reached 1,648,906, while the number of Umrah pilgrims arriving by air in 2017 reached 5,664,208,” Al-Tamimi said.
According to official statistics, the total number of Hajj pilgrims was 2.35 million in 2017.