The Ministry of
Civil Aviation has shortlisted two private carriers to operate the
flights for Haj 2011.
and NAS Air have been shortlisted for this year’s Haj operations
through tendering process,” said a ministry official.
Arab’s national airline Saudi Airlines had quoted the round trip
fare per pilgrim between $ 1,050 and $ 1,200, NAS Air had quoted
$1,300-1,500. Air India — the lone Indian bidder which used to
ferry Haj pilgrims till 2010 — lost out for the tender by quoting
$ 2,000 return fare per passenger.
The two airlines
had operated Haj flights from India last year too along with a
third carrier, Alwafeer Air.
of Understanding with these carriers is likely to be signed within
a week, the official indicated.
Meanwhile, the government’s Haj subsidy bill is set to reduce further as
the total bill for
ferrying 1.25 lakh Haj pilgrims this year is expected to cost the Centre
under Rs 500 crore as against Rs 575 crore in 2010.