Clipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 675 posts, RR: 14 Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5315 times:
The answer is whomever the Muslim countries can get their hands on. You do not have to be a Muslim carrier to fly to Medina. We flew that route for years flying for MAS and Garuda. There are never enough a/c available to carry all of the pilgrims to the Hajj. When Pan Am shut down in '91, 2 of our 747's were used by some fly-by-night outfit to fly from Kano to JED for the Nigerian Hajj. You talk about a goatrope. Those planes would sit in Kano until every seat was filled and only then did they depart for Jeddah. It could take several days to fill them up. Recently however, the Nigerians have been refused from partaking in the Hajj because of the terrible medical issues that thrive throughout the country. World finally gave up on the Hajj when we severed ties with MAS.
Clipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 675 posts, RR: 14 Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5252 times:
That may have changed over the past several years as we have not operated a Hajj for quite some time. But, we did operate on behalf of MAS to Medina in 1999. It really caused some heavy crew scheduling problems for us. Our crews stayed at the Resident Sheraton Hotel Medina.
Clipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 675 posts, RR: 14 Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5229 times:
It probably worked because we were flying under MAS call signs and flight numbers. The coordination that has to go on to set up this huge movement of people is really something to see. You have carriers from all over the world and representatives from every Muslim country all coming together at once and agreeing on a plan of operation. The Hajj board is really a great group to work with. It's a shame that we have gone from what we had then to what is happening today in that part of the world.
FlyingInTheSky From Kuwait, joined Dec 2004, 66 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5104 times:
Hello there ,
I think I do agree with the idea that it's only Saudi Airlines are the sole operator to Medina . I've checked all airlines schedule and timetable on Kuwait International airport that could be operating flights to Medina ,and it was only the Saudi Flights .
Anyway for these who are going for Haj it's much closer to Mecca from Jeddah rather than Medina .And the airport itself has a terminal which made specially for the Haj season .
HB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4450 posts, RR: 73 Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5040 times:
For the first time this year, Garuda Indonesia will be allowed to operate Haji charter flights into Madinah, which has so far been restricted to Saudia flights. These Madinah flights, which will carry some of the 210,000 Indonesian pilgrims on more than 500 Haji charters operated by SV and GA from various points in Indonesia (Medan, Batam, Jakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Makassar), will take some of the pressure of Jeddah's King Abdul Azziz International Airport, which can be a real nightmare to operate into during the peak Haji times. Haji flights out of Indonesia will start on Sunday, December 19.
Ts-ior From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3311 posts, RR: 6 Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4891 times:
Last year several airlines get approvals to fly to Medinah in an attempt to decongest traffic at JED. Tunisair for example had its flights so that pilgrims landing in MED depart from JED and vice versa. The program of this year is not yet reveiled but nothing new is expected. Airbuses will shuttle 24/7 between Tunisia (8 airports) and Saudi Arabia.
Mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6397 posts, RR: 74 Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4757 times:
Garuda will fly to Jeddah and Madinah for the first time...
MAS will fly to Jeddah and Madinah... However, flights into Madinah will be operated by Muslim pilots and cabin crew, while the non-Muslim pilots will serve Jeddah.
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4738 times:
A Turkish friend of mine told me yesterday that he is going to fly to Saudi Arabia (JED) for Hadj soon. Unfortunately I forgot to ask on which airline he is flying because we only met for a few seconds on the street and were blocking the traffic, I will ask him for more details on Sunday when we meet us again.
A345-Fan From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 13 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4719 times:
Hajj-flights are very adventurously; I heart from a situation where some passengers tried to make a campfire in the corridor of a LT A333.
After the Hajj-flights the aircrafts are more than ready for a complete technical check and refurbishment.
Emrecan From Turkey, joined Feb 2000, 920 posts, RR: 7 Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4691 times:
I want to add to this topic also
After Hajj time, when you are on the way to your home (whereever it is) you have to be at the Jeddah Airport at least 8-10 hours before the flight time.
in 2003 I saw 2 Turkish A343s and 4 A310s at Jeddah Airport. Also I saw lots of 747s (Air India, Saudia, Malaysian, Garuda Indonesia, etc..) I`ve visited lots of countries but believe me non of the airports can`t be as busy as Jeddah Airport during Hajj time. It was amazing for me but for the people who doesn`t like airplanes it is very boring to spend 8 hrs. at an airport
ORDAgent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4650 times:
A coworker worked for a U.S. charter carrier and there was a separate Hajj terminal in Jeddah! AFAIK this is huge operation and since Saudi Arabia is just as difficult to get a visa for even for Hajj the entry process can be a nightmare. The last time I flew LH from FRA to ORD the aircraft was packed with pax that connected from a Jeddah LH charter. As far as Medina AFAIK the Saudi Arabia is relaxing Medina entrances since Jeddah is at capacity during the Hajj. Even though I'm not Muslim the idea of going to the Hajj fascinates me. A literal sea of humanity with the same goal must be amazing to see.
PIA747 From Pakistan, joined Apr 2003, 624 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4545 times:
PIA has leased 3 additional B747-200 aircaft to add capacity for the Hajj. 2 from Orient Thai and 1 from Air universal. The following is the link to PIA's Hajj schedule. Leased aircaft is marked as B74L.