GACA issues rules for airlines transporting Haj pilgrims

SAUDI ARABIA:  For the next Haj season, the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced new guidelines for airlines transporting pilgrims.

According to the GACA, the restrictions apply to all airlines operating in the kingdom's airports, including private flights, in terms of the health conditions that passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj must meet, as reported by Xinhua.

Pilgrim travellers must be under 65 years old, have to be completed Covid-19 vaccination, and present a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of departure, according to the new rules.

Meanwhile, Saudia stated on Thursday that 14 aircraft will be allocated to pilgrims,  which are expected to make 268 international flights from and to 15 destinations worldwide, as well as 32 domestic flights. The airline will be liable for about 107,000 international and 12,800 local seats in total, according to the statement.

Saudi Arabia announced in April that it will receive 1 million domestic and international pilgrims during the upcoming Haj season, marking the first time that foreign pilgrims will be allowed to participate in the annual pilgrimage after the previous two seasons were restricted to domestic pilgrims due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

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