Med-View Airline plc has assured that the airlift of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria, which is expected to commence on Saturday, would be completed in two weeks.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole disclosed that over 17,000 pilgrims would be airlifted back home on schedule.
The airline, which is one of the three carriers appointed by the Federal Government, airlifted pilgrims from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Kaduna, Kwara, as well as South-South and South-East.
It also airlifted thousands of pilgrims belonging to tour operators under the aegis of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) from Lagos, Kaduna and Kano zones.
Med-view also conveyed pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Djibouti and Guinea Bissau.
Bankole, who spoke with Daily Trust on the commencement of return journey said three aircraft – B747- 400; B777-200 and B767-300 would be deployed to return the pilgrims back home safely.
He said the airline had in the last 11 years of its involvement in Hajj operations airlifted 350,000 pilgrims without any hitch.
He also advised the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to avoid last minute approach in planning for the annual pilgrimage exercise to make it smooth and seamless for the pilgrims.
He said, “What I always believe in is to appreciate God Almighty first and second is to thank my team, my colleagues for their dedication, commitment. It is not me that is running the show. It is everybody and you can see the commitment.
“This is the advice I will give to NAHCON and other stakeholders. We should work ahead of time. So if we do early planning, get your normal details, then we are back home. We have to learn from each lesson of every Hajj, it comes with its own peculiar problems and from this we get there.”