The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) announced that six airlines are approved by the Federal Government for this year’s Hajj pelgrimage. Kabo Air, MaxAir, Med-View Airline, Meridian Airlines, Tradecraft Air and Ethiopian Airlines are the selected carriers, while Hamsel Air Services and Aero Aviation Services will serve as back-up charter airlines. Furthermore, Med-View Cargo, Evergreen and White Aero Ventures are chosen as carriers for the pilgrims’ excess luggage. Around 95,000 pilgrims will be travelling from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia in the last week of September and in the first week of November.
MaxAir announced it will fly 36,000 pilgrims (43% of the total number) to Saudi Arabia this year, following the allocation by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). The airline will use its three B743 aircraft for the operation and keep a fourth as standby aircraft.
Kabo Air, Meridian Airlines and Medview Airline will be responsible for carrying the remaining Hajj pilgrims. Meridian and Medview will have to wet-lease aircraft for this end, while Kabo Air may employ its B742 aircraft.
The Federal Government has approved Kabo Air, MaxAir, Meridian Airlines and Medview Airline as official carriers to airlift Nigerian pilgrims during the Hajj of 2010.
Four Nigerian charter airlines are operating the annual hajj flights from various Nigerian airports to Saudi Arabia:
- Kabo Air: 3xB742 (5N-MAD, 5N-DKB, and 5N-JRM)
- MaxAir: 4xB743 (5N-BMG, 5N-DBM, 5N-DDK, and 5N-MBB)
- Med-View Airline: 2xB763 and 1xL1011 (leased from Euroatlantic Airways)
- Meridian Airlines: 1xB743 (from an unidentified lessor)
Note: Kabo Air also wet-leases a B763 from Icelandair for scheduled operations from Abuja and Kano to Cairo, Dubai and Jeddah.