At least 993 pilgrims did not submit their passports to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Dhaka to get Hajj visa while the passport submission deadline expired at 12 noon On Monday.
Hence, a total of 1,26,205 pilgrims will perform Hajj this year against the primarily estimated 127,198 Bangladeshis.
When contacted, Shahadat Hossain Taslim, secretary general of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh, considering the visa appeals, said the government was responded well even after extending the visa submission deadline several times.
“Comparing the previous years’ statistics, the rate visa application of this year was much better. Last year, one thousand pilgrims did not appy for visa due to illness or personal reason,” added Taslim.
Though the country’s northern region are greatly affected by flood, the number of pilgrims from the region, who refrained from applying for Hajj visas, is not that large, he observed.
Until Monday, Biman Bangladesh Airlines carried 44,253 pilgrims while Saudi Arabian Airlines 46,156 others.
Biman spokesperson, Shakil Meraj, said the national flag carrier will operate pre-Hajj flights until August 26.
Meanwhile, aiming to carry all the pilgrims, Biman is going to increase pre-Hajj flights and has already enagaged more aircrafts for smoothen the Hajj flight operation.
The national flag carrier have so far been given 21 additional slots, while it had initially received 144 slots to carry 63,599 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Until Monday, Biman was forced to cancel 24 flights owing to the continued shortage of Hajj pilgrims.