Kochi: The first flight from Kerala for Haj this year will take off on August 01. There will be a total of 29 flights, with the last flight taking off from Nedumbassery airport on Agusut 15, 2018, Kerala State Haj Committee officials said.
"The first Haj flight from Kerala is scheduled to fly on 1st August , 2018 at 05:35 am from Nedumbassery with a total of 410 pilgrims. There would be a total of 29 services .The last outward flight is on 15th August", Kerala State Haj Committee officials said.
This year there would be a total of 11,100 pilgrims from Kerala who will perform Haj. This included as many as 1,121 women pilgrims who will perform Hajj without Mahram. The Indian government allowed women without Mahram for the first time.
The Haj Committee of Indihad allotted a quota of 10,981 to the state as per its Muslim population. Besides, Kerala received additional Haj seats of 3,423 seats which remained vacant in other states, including 1,270 pilgrims who are above 70 years of age .
As per the Return Flight schedule released by the Kerala State Haj Committee, First Inward Flight/ Returning Flight will reach Kochi from Medina by 3.45 pm on 12th September, 2018. The last inward flight is scheduled for 25th September. All the inward services would be maintained by Saudi Airlines.
Nedumbassery Embaraktion point covers pilgrims from Kerala, Lakshadweep and Mahe.
The Haj Committee of India had earlier released tentative flight schedule for the Hajj season 2018. The apex body, responsible to manage all Haj travel operations for the Indian pilgrims, has hired chartered planes for the air travel of the worshippers embarking on the annual ritual.
In an official announcement the Haj Committee of India said the first Haj flight from India will be on July 14, 2018 and the last haj flight will be on August 16, 2018. “The Haj pilgrims from India will embark for Haj journey from 20 embarkation points by Charter Planes from 14th July, 2018 to 16th August, 2018 tentatively”, the Haj Committee of India said.
India has been allotted a quota of 170,525 pilgrims based on the population of Muslims in the country. Out of them 128,525 pilgrims will go to Makkah through Haj Committee of India., the remaining will hire the services of Private Tour Operators (PTO).
Coinciding with Eid al Adha, Haj is the annual ritual to commemorate the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hager and his son Prophet Ismael. The likely date of Wuqoof e Arafat - the key ritual of the Hajj, is August 20 or 19. As the Islamic calendar is based on sighting of moon, the final date will be decided once the new moon of the month of Dhul Hijjah is sighted. Last year, Wuqoof e Arafat was on August 31, 2017.
More than 02 million pilgrims from over 150 countries, including 170,025 from India, performed Hajj in 2017. The first Haj flight in 2017 was from Delhi Embarkation Point on July 24 whereas the last Haj flight in 2017 was on August 26.
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