Jeddah, Asharq Al Awsat – There has been an increase in demands recently for airline carriers in Saudi Arabia to improve their services on the ground and to increase the number of employees in all sectors in preparation for the Hajj season. These demands were made to reduce the number of delays that take place during the Hajj season due to air traffic and were presented during the annual meeting attended by representatives of airline companies that operate in the kingdom. Over 50 airline companies attended this year’s meeting in Jeddah.
Reshad al Rifai, the regional director of Egypt Air in Saudi Arabia said, “The company has made a number of demands concerned with improving ground services and reducing delays in departure times to airport authorities and concerned government agencies.” He highlighted that these are the main concerns of companies during the pilgrimage season.
Abdul Aziz al Hazmi, the Chairman of the council of airlines representatives operating in the kingdom and assistant to the executive director-general for marketing of Saudi Airlines asserted that the cooperation between airline carriers and government departments contributes to achieving mutual goals, improving existing services in the kingdom, supporting trade relations, and overcoming a number of challenges through teamwork and effort. He added, “The council presented a suitable framework for developing cooperation between Saudi airline companies and government authorities to achieve various common goals and complete operational tasks for the transportation of pilgrims. These would be achieved through the implementation of directives issued by the Supreme Hajj Committee.”
On his part, Dr Ayad al Omari, Secretary General of the Airlines Committee emphasized that the meeting urged that efforts be exerted on all parts to improve services for pilgrims at the King Abdulaziz International Airport and Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Medina. Furthermore, the meeting highlighted the necessity to complete all required procedures for travelers as soon as possible in order for them to perform the Hajj pilgrimage without difficulty. All observations and requirements of government departments and airlines were discussed at the meeting. The procedures carried out for pilgrims arriving at the airport and the Passport Control Department were also topics of discussion. Al Omari underlined the importance of all pilgrims adhering to the rules concerning vaccinations for Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever especially for pilgrims coming from countries where such diseases are widespread.