Biman Bangladesh Airlines will start transporting Hajj pilgrims back from Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), on Wednesday.
The first of the 139 flights carrying Hajj pilgrims will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 6:10pm, followed by four flights on the day, and will continue till October 5.
An additional 30 flights have been arranged by Biman. Biman was supposed to transport 63,599 pilgrims, but this year the number increased to a total of 64,873 pilgrims who travelled from Dhaka to Jeddah.
Biman in a press release said the baggage allowance for economy class passengers is 46kg, while business class passengers are allowed 56kgs. Individual suitcases must not exceed 23kgs in economy class and 28kgs in business class. The maximum weight of cabin bags has been set at 7kg.
The press release also said passengers are not allowed to carry their own Zamzam water. Biman will provide each pilgrim with 5 litres of Zamzam water which will be handed to them after they land at Dhaka airport.
The national carrier operated a total of 187 dedicated Hajj flights this year, with 24 of them eventually cancelled because of a lack of passengers. This was caused by people buying airplane tickets without obtaining the necessary visa for their travel.
Biman incurred a loss of Tk44 crore in revenue for these 24 cancelled flights.
Biman rescheduled regular flights and reduced frequent flights on routes such as Dhaka-London, Dhaka-Muscat, Dhaka-Dubai, Dhaka-Abu Dhabi, Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur, and cancelled all of Dhaka-Doha flights till August 26 to make sure there was enough available aircrafts to service the Hajj pilgrims.
The last dedicated Hajj flight of Biman left Dhaka on August 28 carrying 418 pilgrims to Jeddah.