Mumbai, Oct 9 IANS | 2 years ago

Air India completed its month-long first phase of carrying Haj pilgrims from India in the current pilgrimage season, a spokesperson said here Wednesday.

A total of 195 special Haj flights were operated by Air India from 12 places, namely Aurangabad, Bhopal, Chennai, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Indore, Kolkata, Mangalore, Nagpur, Ranchi and Srinagar.

The first flight in the Haj-2013 operations departed from Kolkata Sep 7 and the final flight took off from Gaya Wednesday, carrying a total of 46,614 pilgrims so far.

Air India achieved an on-time performance of 90 percent in this year's Haj operations, as compared to 72 percent last year.

The national carrier is now preparing to bring back the pilgrims starting Oct 19, after the Eid-al Adha (Bakri Eid).

It has already made elaborate arrangements at Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia, with special check-in directly from the hotels where pilgrims are staying and streamlining arrangements to transport Zamzam (holy water) with the passengers in the same aircraft.

(Posted on 09-10-2013)