Nigerian Airlines Refuse to Sign Agreement with NAHCON for 2023 Hajj Due to Sudan Crisis

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Several Nigerian airlines that were selected to transport pilgrims for the 2023 hajj have declined to sign an agreement with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) due to the ongoing crisis in Sudan.

Representatives from Air Peace, Azman Air, Max Air and Aero Contractors refused to sign the agreement, requesting consultations with their superiors instead. The signing of the agreement was initially scheduled for Thursday but has been postponed until Tuesday of next week. The only foreign airline among them, Fly Nas, has already signed the agreement, as it has been allocated over 28,000 pilgrims, representing 40% of the total number of pilgrims

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According to Daily Trust, the Sudan crisis has led to the closure of the country’s airspace, which is a crucial route for sub-Saharan pilgrims en route to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If pilgrims have to take an alternate route, it would increase their travel expenses, and the fares they have to pay would have to be reviewed.

In April, NAHCON had fixed the minimum fare at N2.88 million for the exercise and the maximum sum at N2.9 million. However, the maximum fare was later increased to N3.2 million

The refusal of the Nigerian airlines to sign the agreement with NAHCON has caused concerns about the transportation of pilgrims for the 2023 hajj. The Nigerian government may have to take action to resolve the issue to ensure that the transportation of pilgrims proceeds smoothly

It is also hoped that the ongoing crisis in Sudan will be resolved soon so that the country’s airspace can be reopened, and sub-Saharan pilgrims can use their preferred route to Saudi Arabia.

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