Mumbai airport to handle 65,000 Haj pilgrims this year

Mumbai:  The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) here is set to handle over 65,000 Haj pilgrims this year, an airport spokesperson said on Monday.

Emerging as one of the key departure points for the annual Haj pilgrimage, the CSMIA said it is fully geared to manage the increased passenger traffic – comprising 33,000 outbound pilgrims and the rest inbound between May and July – in well-coordinated phases.

This would mark a 157 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of Haj pilgrims passing through the CSMIA compared with 2023 when 12,815 faithful had travelled from here.

This year’s Haj pilgrimage season commenced with flights departing from May 25 and will continue to leave till June 12, while the return services are slated to start in July, the official said.

The CSMIA has a robust schedule to Saudi Arabia with 11 daily flights operated by Saudia Airlines, Air India, IndiGo and Vistara, and during the peak Haj season, Saudia is responsible for handling the official movement of pilgrims from here.

The official added that in order to handle the increase in pilgrim traffic, the CSMIA has arranged 101 ferry flights for both departures and arrivals for the convenience of the Haj pilgrims, plus a range of facilities and services for them at Terminal 2. These include a separate approach road, dedicated drop-off point, exclusive parking and lifts, dedicated check-in and immigration counters and an exclusive check-in island, streamlined access, special screening area, dedicated boarding gates, separate seating, wazu (ablutions) and praying arrangements for men and women, and a senior official deployed for managing and coordinating with the Haj volunteers for all the flights.


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