Uganda Airlines to ferry Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

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Flag carrier Uganda Airlines is set to make its maiden landing in Saudi Arabia June19, when […]

Flag carrier Uganda Airlines is set to make its maiden landing in Saudi Arabia June19, when it airlifts the first batch of Ugandan pilgrims going for the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

Officials described the flights as a “milestone”, since this will be the first time in nearly four decades for a Ugandan carrier to operate the service.

“It is also a momentous occasion for pilgrims who will be performing this holy journey using their national carrier,” the carrier said in a statement.

The outbound flight, that will be operated using one of Uganda Airlines’ A330-800s, will depart Entebbe at 10:00 am local, arriving in Jeddah four hours later. The return flights will be operated from Medina to Entebbe in July 2023.

The official flag-off ceremony will be held at Entebbe International Airport, officiated by the Minister for Works and Transport, Muslim Leaders, Diplomats, and other government officials.

Some 500 pilgrims have booked to travel with Ugandan airlines and will be transported in two batches. Host Saudi Arabia allocated Uganda 300O slots for this year’s pilgrimage but the rest will travel by Uganda Airlines numerous competitors who serve the Arabian market.

Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah (Oath to Allah & Muhammad PBUH), Salat (prayer), Zakat (almsgiving) and Sawm (Ramadan fasting). Hajj, the 5th pillar, is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that every adult Muslim who is physically and financially able must make at least once in their lifetime. It is one of the most significant religious journeys for Muslims worldwide, gathering millions of Muslims in Mecca and Medina every year, to perform holy rituals and seek spiritual fulfilment.

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