Sunday, May 21, 2023

World’s first flight for Haj 2023 departs from Lucknow with 288 pilgrims: UP govt

Lucknow: For the year 2023, the world’s first flight for Haj left with 288 pilgrims on Sunday afternoon at 12 pm from Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh International airport, said Uttar Pradesh state Haj committee.

Once flight lands at Medina airport, the pilgrims are expected to be welcomed by Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, civil aviation ministry, Haj ministry and others, read the statement issued by the government of Uttar Pradesh.

This was also the first group of pilgrims to leave from Uttar Pradesh for Haj after Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Haj committee.

Before the flight took off, UP Haj committee chairperson Mohsin Raza, state minister for minority welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj Danish Azad Ansari and Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli flagged off the group in a bus from Maulana Ali Mia memorial Haj house towards airport.

A total of two flights left with nearly 570 pilgrims.

According to the state government, around 14,114 pilgrims will depart from Lucknow to Medina between May 21 to June 6. Among the pilgrims, around 60 Haj sevak will also travel to assist the pilgrims in their journey. Around 4,000 women pilgrims will also travel for Haj this year from Lucknow.

Before boarding the flight for Medina, pilgrims at the CCSIA were welcomed with flower petal shower organized by representatives of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Airlines, customs, immigration and UP Haj committee members.

21/05/2023 Arvind Chauhan/Times of India

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