Mangalore, October 4: The first Hajj flight from Mangalore Airport carrying pilgrims to Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, took off on Tuesday.
Mangalore Airport Director M R Vasudeva Rao said the international airliner KNE 46 6603, carrying 159 passengers departed the Mangalore Airport at 7: 53 pm.
Chairman of the State Haj Committee S Mohammed Ghouse Basha Ashrafi informed that the flight would take the pilgrims directly to Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a short stop in Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE for refuelling.
He said around 800 pilgrims would travel from here through the Haj committee in five separate batches this year.
He also said that second and third Hajj flights would fly from Mangalore on October 7 and 9 at 9:40 pm respectively, and fourth and fifth flights on October 10 and 11 at 10:05 pm respectively. Each flight would carry 160 passengers, he added.
A farewell programme for the Hajj pilgrims was organised at the Old Terminal Building of the Mangalore Airport in the evening by State Hajj Committee.
Mangalore Qazi Thwaqa Ahmed Musliyar inaugurated the programme. Mulky-Moodbidri MLA Abhaychandra Jain, former minister BA Moideen, former police officer GA Bava and Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Minority Affairs Syed Zameer Pasha were present among others.