ABU DHABI, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, affirmed the readiness of the UAE's airports, national carriers, and supporting authorities to assist pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the occasion of the Hajj season in the 1440 Hijri year, Al Suwaidi highlighted the cooperation between the GCAA and Saudi authorities in serving all pilgrims, especially Emirati pilgrims.

He also noted their coordination in assisting the travel of passengers to the Holy Land, through organising unscheduled flights and providing advanced notice about the details of these flights, noting that Saudi authorities have considered possible exceptional circumstances and will provide necessary support.

Al Suwaidi then praised the efforts of the Saudi government to serve pilgrims and provide them with comfort during the Hajj season.

The GCAA, in cooperation with Emirati airports, national carriers and authorities, has drafted plans to provide Emirati pilgrims with comfort, and is prepared to handle significant numbers of passengers before and during the Hajj season, he added.

He also stressed that elderly pilgrims and those who are people of determination will be prioritised, not only during the Hajj season but throughout the year, while explaining that the UAE's airports and transport infrastructure can handle significant numbers of passengers.

Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline are operating 67 additional flights to Jeddah and Madinah throughout the Hajj season, along with their regular flights to Saudi Arabia.

Etihad Airways is operating an additional 15 flights to Madinah until 25th August, as well as six additional flights for the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the Sheikh Zayed Foundation and the Abu Dhabi Police.

Emirates Airline is operating an extra 46 flights to Jeddah and Madinah for thousands of pilgrims performing the Hajj this year, until 22nd August.

Source: Emirates News Agency