UAE carriers launch additional flights to Jeddah during Ramadan

September 2nd, 2008 - 12:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 2 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates have announced extra flights from their respective bases in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.In separate statements, the two airlines said the extra flights were being introduced to cater to the greater demand from Umrah travelers during the holy month of Ramadan.

In its statement, Etihad Airways said it was providing an additional 24 flights during the holy month of Ramadan between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah and would add special flights to Medina Al Munawara.

The extra services will operate between Sep 1 and Oct 2 and build on the 28 return flights Etihad operates every week to its Saudi destinations of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

“The additional flights from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah will cater for the great demand from Umra travellers during the holy month of Ramadan and will enhance significantly the long-haul travel options to the Muslim communities throughout our network with a short transfer time in Abu Dhabi on many routes,” Etihad Airways chief executive said in the statement.

Similarly, Emirates announced that it was introducing 47 extra flights from Dubai to Jeddah.

These additional services, from Sep 1 to Oct 15, can be accessed by travellers holding a valid Umrah visa, according to an Emirates statement. These extra flights will depart Dubai at 9 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. local time, providing Umrah passengers with more flexibility.

These would also ensure convenient connections for pilgrims arriving from around Emirates’ global network, especially from the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East, the airline said.

“The Umrah is a unique spiritual experience for Muslims, and Emirates is glad to be able to facilitate travel arrangements for scores of pilgrims during their special journey, through services in the air and on the ground,” Adnan Kazim, senior vice-president for commercial operations in the Gulf, Middle East and Iran at Emirates, said in the statement.

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