MED-VIEW Airlines has commenced the airlift of its quota of 10,000 pilgrims starting with the initial 320 pilgrims from the hajj camp of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The pilgrims arrived and started boarding the airline’s newly acquired Boeing 777-200 as early as 5:30 and were done with formalities before 6:00am before the aircraft taxied and took off at 7:35am after appropriate clearance was given.
The airline is scheduled to airlift no fewer than 2001 passengers from Lagos alone and has a total of 10,000 pilgrims of the 95,0000 pilgrims to airlift.
Apart from Lagos pilgrims the airline will also be airlifting pilgrims from Kaduna, Maiduguri, Ilorin as well some extras from Guinea-Bissau and Niger according to the airline management.
Executive Director, Business Development, Alhaji Ishiaq Na’allah who spoke to reporters just before the takeoff of the flight said that Med-view will be airlifting its pilgrims on seven trips.
Na’allah said, “We give praise to the almighty Allah for giving us the strength to start our airlift, this is the first flight we are doing this year and we are hoping to do about 10,000 pilgrims. We are airlifting our pilgrims from Lagos, Kaduna, Maiduguri and Ilorin.”
“Obviously, it’s challenging if you look at the number of passengers we use to carry in such a short period, it is challenging and so you need a very high-capacity aircraft, this is why we have brought this aircraft, it’s a triple seven(777) it’s a modern aircraft. This flight carries 323 capacity right now the Lagos people that are going now we have 320 . From Lagos state we have about 2000 passengers and we are going to do about seven flights for them.”
On the consistency of Med-view in hajj operations Na’ Allah added,”The major source of our consistency is our ability to provide the desired services for our passengers, we give them the comfort when they are going and when they are coming back and also when they are there as much as possible we make sure they enjoy their stay.”
Commissioner of Home Affairs, Lagos state and Amir hajj, Dr. Abdulhakeem Abdulateef who spoke on the hajj commended Med-view for its consistency and states that the pilgrims will spend just two weeks not 45 days stating that the main event of the hajj is just two weeks.