JEDDAH: Domestic and Gulf pilgrims started taking flights back to their homes by regional carriers on Friday while most foreign pilgrims will start their return journeys on Saturday, spokesman of General Authority of Civil Aviation Khaled Khaibari told Arab News.
Pilgrims will start leaving in six flights every hour from the Haj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Khaibari said.
The official called on the Haj missions and transporting agencies to bring the pilgrims sufficiently in advance to the terminal so that travel formalities might be completed in time and no delay is experienced in the departure of planes. He urged the pilgrims to pack their baggage securely and ensure that none of their bags exceed 32 kg so that they could be loaded smoothly onto the aircraft.
Director of the department in charge of pilgrim buses, Faisal Al-Asrah, told Arab News that 800,000 pilgrims will leave for Madinah beginning Saturday on their way back home by bus transport. â€œThe pilgrims who came straight to Makkah shortly before the Haj will head to the Prophetâ€™s Mosque in Madinah before they return to their countries,â€ he said.
Baggage limits for Indians
Meanwhile, the Indian Haj Mission said in a statement that the airlines would allow only 45 kg check in baggage, 10 kg of hand luggage (cabin baggage) and 10 liters of Zamzam for every Haji. The airlines will charge SR40 for every kilo of extra weight. It said that the hand baggage should not contain any liquid and sharp items like scissors, blades, needles etc.
The international terminal was not crowded though there were many passengers, but that will soon change as pilgrims begin their return in earnest. Â He urged pilgrims that they should not carry more than 45 kg per passenger in buses and luggage items should not exceed 40 cm in height.
Abdul Ghani Al-Malki, director of preventive medicine at the airport said a team from the Health Ministry has been assisting sick pilgrims who are leaving since Thursday. Â â€œMedical assistance has been provided to 2,000 pilgrims since Thursday. Most of them were suffering seasonal maladies,â€ he said.