Haj terminal at Delhi airport gets new look

October 29th, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) The Haj terminal at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here has got a major facelift as it prepares to welcome pilgrims from Thursday, said an airport official.Arun Behl, general manager (operations) of the airport and chief coordinator of the Haj terminal, said the renovation of the terminal was complete.

The first flight of the Saudi Arabian Airlines would take off from the airport at 3.30 p.m. Thursday, said Behl. Indian pilgrims will fly on Air India and Saudi Arabian Airlines from 17 cities including Delhi.

“The canopy outside the terminal has been extended keeping in mind the approaching winter season,” said Behl, adding over 1,500 square metres of space had been made available for visitors.

The entrance to the check-in area has been widened and new X-ray machines have been installed to fasten the process of security clearance. There are now eight immigration counters.

A Namaz hall is also available for passengers to offer prayers.

According to Mohammed Moassam Ahmed, a member of All India Haj Committee and chief coordinator of the Haj operations in Delhi, about 18,000 devotees would fly for Jeddah from Delhi.

Of the 168,000 pilgrims, 123,211 would fly through the Haj committee while the rest would bank on the services of private tour operators. While Air India will fly 63,511 pilgrims, Saudi Airlines will carry 59,700 devotees. Air India would ferry the pilgrims on 400 flights.

On an average, 12 flights would carry about 3,600 pilgrims per day till Nov 16 from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Srinagar and Varanasi.

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