Aleksandar
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Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:30 am

Every year that huge movement to Mecca really impresses me but I hardly found any information on exact number of flights carried out in order to transport all the pilgrims. Also, can someone tell me more about fares to Mecca during the Hajj and is it a period when airlines make some extra profit or losses?
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Fly2CHC
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:49 am

I'm based in Bahrain (only a two-hour flight away from Jeddah), and have just come back from the Hajj. Generally there are two possibilities. The most common, and usually the only scenario acceptable to the Saudis, is that you register with an approved Haj agent. This being the case, they normally charter aircraft to operate to/from the Jeddah Hajj terminal, and this is included in the amount you pay for the Hajj (which also includes transport, food, accommodation, medical care, etc for your entire stay in the Kingdom).

Alternatively, you can sometimes arrange your own transport to/from Jeddah on airlines' schedules flights which operate to/from the standard terminal. This is what we did. However, there are NO discounted seats available regardless of when you book. It is either FULL Y, FULL J, or full F - and flights are still packed. We paid the equivallent of US$657 incl taxes each for the 2 hour Gulf Air A340 flight in Business Class. Economy Class was around US$530 I think.

Based on these prices and a rough calculation using their A340 loads, Gulf Air probably grossed around US$150,000 in revenue per return flight.

Hope this helps.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:08 am

Thank you for your explanation. Can you tell me more about Hajj Terminal in Jeddah?
Also, did Gulf Air make any additional flights? Interestingly, but the fare you paid seems very high even for Business Class.
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Fly2CHC
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:22 pm

The Hajj terminal is a massive facility opposite the main building. It is quite open with tent-like roofs. Even if you come in on a regular scheduled flight as we did, there is a bus which will take you to either terminal depending on the purpose of your visit.

On arrival in the Hajj terminal you are put into waiting rooms. Following this your passport and visa will be scrutinised numerous times by officials within a few metres of one another. They need to be completely assured that you do not provide a risk of overstaying.

GF had several additional flights. In fact, on the day we left Bahrain there was a dedicated Hajj charter leaving just 10 mins earlier. On the return, Kuwait Airways seemed to have about 6 flights within a few hours!

Yes, the price was high considering I travelled all the way to KUL on Business Class last year for only a fraction more!
 
semsem
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:36 pm

So you land in Jeddah. Then there are busses to Mecca? How long does it take?
 
ETStar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:16 pm

If anyone cares to know:
- South African is flying folks back to JNB this week with 4 B744 flights.
- Ethiopian has extra sections to ADD, with a combination of B763/B752s.
- Air Senegal is hauling folks back to Dakar with a B742.

any other interesting ones?
 
soups
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:30 pm

Jordan Aviation A310 was used to carry Hajj piligrims fro, Accra
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
etaiz
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:46 pm

ETStar,

Do you know by any chance if the newly leased B75s are already operational in ADD and if so were they part of the Hajj extra sections?
 
jcavinato
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:43 pm

I am a professor of transportation and logistics. I had heard that someone published a book entitled something like "The Logistics of the Hajj." But, I can't find any reference to it anywhere. I would love to read such a thing, given that this is such a significant event involving millions of people in a short period of time....flights, lodging, food, etc. Has anyone come across this book? If so, please pass along information about it.

Thanks in advance.
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:56 pm

Semsem,expect a circa one hour drive from JED to Mecca.

For instance there were 37 flights from Tunisia to JED and MED and approx.249 flights from Egypt.
 
HiJazzey
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:03 pm

Hi Aleksandar,

I don't know the numbers for this year, but for 2004:

JED: Aircraft movements - 5,892 ; Pax - 1.76 million
MED: Aircraft movements - 1,208 ; Pax - 379 thousand

As for the Hajj terminal:

It's very different from a regular airport terminal. You have two huge areas (east and west) covered by steel truss and teflon tent awnings. In the design, each is split into 5 units. Each unit has a two storey processing building (immigration customs etc..) at the front with two boarding bridges, a large open waiting area (within it are freestanding buildings such as bathrooms restaurants shops etc..), and coach parking ramps.

However please note it isn't complete: the west apron hasn't been constructed, and only six units are operational (3 east, 3 west). The west units serve remotly parked aircraft for the moment.

There is a project to under tender to construct the west apron, bring online the 4 unused units and rehabilitate the current one on a BOT basis.
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Hajj Flights

Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:41 pm

For the Hajj season, Egyptair is leasing an AB6 from Monarch,other Asian airlines had leased some B767s from UK charters,Nouvelair has flown pilgrims from France,the UK and the ex-Yougoslavia countries,LTU has propably flown German muslims...and in a few words,JED,and MED,are exotic during a month or so !!!

Tunisia-JED,18 flights,and 19 flights to MED.On the way back,you can count 18 flights from MED and 19 from JED. The use of the airport of Medinah was a great relief for the Hajj organization commity.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:02 am

Thanks guys bigthumbsup 

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 10):
JED: Aircraft movements - 5,892 ; Pax - 1.76 million
MED: Aircraft movements - 1,208 ; Pax - 379 thousand

Wow, that is impressive  eyepopping  Thanks for that information.

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 11):

Do you know more about Hajj flights from Turkey?

Can someone tell me more about MED airport? It seems that the airport is much smaller.
Also, I've seen that many airlines from the region lease additional planes for the period, but how does Hajj movement affect regular services? It seems to me that all the planes are directed to Saudi Arabia in that period.

Interestingly, I just ran into an interesting old photo of JAT Convair 440 being prepared for Hajj flight back in 1960s with pilgrims boarding the plane.
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jacobin777
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:09 am

Quoting Fly2CHC (Reply 1):
I'm based in Bahrain (only a two-hour flight away from Jeddah), and have just come back from the Hajj.

If you got back from Hajj...then I would like to you wish you a "Hajj Mubarak"... Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
FOMEA
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:24 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 13):
f you got back from Hajj...then I would like to you wish you a "Hajj Mubarak"...

Same wishes..To all the Hajjes.


Regards
F-OMEA.
On the internet you can be anything you want..its strange so many choose to be Stupid.
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:10 am

Aleksandar,concerning Medinah airport it is evident that is smaller !!! During Ramadan,my parents went on a Omra with Saudia and they landed at MED. They have found the airport charming.

Hajj flights from Turkey should be close or similar to those from Egypt. Many Turkish pilgrims choose to travel by road crossing Syria,Jordan then Saudi Arabia.

Nouvelair operated several flights from Serbia and Montenegro AFAIK,Macedonia,Albania...
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:11 am

As last year, THY has leased three A300 from MNG for Hajj flights. Fly Air and Onur are main providers of Hajj leases to SV (about 14 A300 in total!)

Most of GA's flights routed through AUH, where the Thomson 767s were based. In DXB I saw a white GA 743 and Excel 763 with GA titles.

Most of the extra flights from Dubai were operated by SV 741 and 743. EK had extra flights too.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
TK001
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:17 am

Turkish Airlines flies from Adana (ADA), Izmir (ADB), Antalya (AYT), Kayseri (ASR), Dalaman (DLM), Diyarbakir (DIY), Erzurum (ERZ), Ankara (ESB), Isparta (ISE), Istanbul (IST and SAW), Konya (KYA), Nevsehir (NAV), Samsun (SZF), Trabzon (TZX), Van(VAN), and Bursa (YEI) to JED and MED mostly with leased A300's.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:08 am

TS-IOR, I apologize, but the little flag confused me. I know you're Tunisian, but I was looking at the flag and it looked more Turkish. That why I aksed you about flights from Turkey. Anyway, thanks for the info.

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 15):
concerning Medinah airport it is evident that is smaller

Well, I know very little of the airports in Saudi Arabia, especially the smaller ones, like Medinah. Anyway, according to the data provided by HiJazeey, MED is also quite busy, too.
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river747
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:09 am

Quoting TK001 (Reply 17):
Turkish Airlines flies from Adana (ADA), Izmir (ADB), Antalya (AYT), Kayseri (ASR), Dalaman (DLM), Diyarbakir (DIY), Erzurum (ERZ), Ankara (ESB), Isparta (ISE), Istanbul (IST and SAW), Konya (KYA), Nevsehir (NAV), Samsun (SZF), Trabzon (TZX), Van(VAN), and Bursa (YEI) to JED and MED mostly with leased A300's.

Does THY uses A300's from all those airports? Even Konya, Isparta, Bursa, Van and Samsun?
 
jambo
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:27 am

Pilgrims are returning from KSA to Tanzania using EThiopian.
 
aussie_
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:50 am

I know Qantas wet leased 2x 747-300 to Garuda for Indonesia-Jeddah flights for Hajj. I imagine demand out of Indonesia must be huge - after all it is the world's largest muslim nation in terms of population.
 
ETStar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:52 am

Quoting ETAIZ (Reply 7):
Do you know by any chance if the newly leased B75s are already operational in ADD and if so were they part of the Hajj extra sections?

No idea. Maybe dkny can fill us in on this one.

Quoting Jambo (Reply 20):
Pilgrims are returning from KSA to Tanzania using EThiopian.

Yup, and one cannot find a single seat out of ADD to JRO/DAR over the next few days...
 
soups
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:57 am

According to the link below, some Hajj piligrims from Ghana were delayed by 2 weeks or so by Egypt Air
http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=97855
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
Fly2CHC
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:27 am

Thank you Jacobin777, FOMEA, and others for your well wishes. It was a truely amazing experience!
 
ETStar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:20 am

ETAIZ, here's one of the leased 752s at the ET hangar... apparently registered ET-ALY


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Raimund Stehmann

 
FlyKev
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:25 am

Out of curiosity, what's the service like on these special hajj flights?
The same as usual, or is it different, and more tailored towards the Islamic passengers than usual?

[Edited 2006-01-19 23:27:39]
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
babybus
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:43 am

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 26):
Out of curiosity, what's the service like on these special hajj flights?
The same as usual, or is it different, and more tailored towards the Islamic passengers than usual?

That's a very good question. Particularly regarding schedule airlines and the services of charter airlines. Anyone know?

I know on Saudia they allow the Hajj pax to call for their meal whenever they want during the flight (however muslims don't need to fast during travel).

They also call out when the aircraft reaches a certain point so the pax can get into their special outfits.

Every flight is packed to the door and highly overbooked.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
md90fan
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:18 am

Is there anything from the CIS to Saudia Arabia in the Hajj season?
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
goldcrest
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:27 pm

I have operated several Hajj seasons with various customer airlines, but mainly for Saudia.

Service, depending on flight duration, consists of various soft drinks, followed by meal, with tea or coffee.
Usually a choice of meal is offered.

Flights to Indonesia had 3 meal services, aprox a 10 hour flight.
 
PKK
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:38 pm

The Hajj terminal can been seen in the background of this photo. Doesn't seem to have changed much since I lived in JED in the late '90.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © M. Azizul Islam



Peter
 
HiJazzey
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:21 pm

Fly2CHC,

Hajj mabrour wa sa3i mashkour  Smile

Aleksandar,

Yes, Medina airport is a lot smaller. A small regional airport in fact. While it has two runways, it has very limited apron and terminal capacity. I believe it can handle only 5 aircraft at a time, so it is running at it's limit during the hajj season.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 31):

Thank you for the information. I just looked at the Saudia timetable that I have, and Medinah is not even listed. Do they fly there regularly?

Also, what happens with the Hajj terminal during the rest of the year? It seems like a huge complex.
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HiJazzey
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RE: Hajj Flights

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:07 am

Aleksandar,

MED is one of the main stations in the domestic network (and it has a few scheduled international routes too). You probably didn't see it on the schedule because it is listed as Al-Madinah (right at the begining of the book). Check out the latest timetable here: http://www.saudiairlines.com/travel/svtimetablee-III.pdf

As for the hajj terminal, it is only used during hajj season, although it is expected to handle umra traffic in the future.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:50 am

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 33):
You probably didn't see it on the schedule because it is listed as Al-Madinah (right at the begining of the book).

I found that out now and I feel very embarrased and stupid.  banghead  embarrassed  Anyway, thanks a lot.

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 33):
As for the hajj terminal, it is only used during hajj season

How cost effective can it be to have a huge building being used only for a month?

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 33):
Check out the latest timetable

I'm downloading it now. That's good to see that Saudia offers their timetable as PDF file. Pitty they don't have it for Summer of 2002.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
 
MSYYZ
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RE: Hajj Flights

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:43 pm

I just came back from Hajj..
Egypt Air had 18 daily flights between Jeddah and Cairo ( all wide bodies : B777,A340 and A330 )
I bought a one way ticket from Jeddah to Cairo and it cost 400 canadian Dollars ( for 1 hour and fourty minutes flight ).
There was an immigration officer on board of the plane which was a great idea , it only took us few minutes to claim the luggage . There was a representative from the ministry of health on board as well , she distributed some antibiotics and was happy to answer any questions .
Service was great and i was really impressed by their service . One of the best things Egypt Air does is that if u arrive early at Jeddah Airport u can board the earliest available plane . I arrived 1 day earlier to the Airport and they put me on the first available flight.
A346,A343,A342,A332,A333,A310,A300,AB6,A319,A320,A321,B741,B744,B777,B767,B732,B735,B727,B707,B757,MD80,F-70,E-170,B738
 
ETStar
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RE: Hajj Flights

Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:45 am

Looks like Sudan Airways did some of the Hajj lifting from Entebbe, Uganda. The following article describes the return of some participants, with some drama and events ...

http://www.monitor.co.ug/news/news012318.php