The first flight of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) carrying pilgrims for the 1999 Hajj arrived in Jeddah today from Jakarta. The plane was welcomed at King Abdulaziz International Airport by SAA Director-General Dr. Khalid Ibn Bakr, who stated that this flight marks the start of SAA's comprehensive plan for receiving pilgrims. This year, SAA expects to transport almost half a million pilgrims on board more than 2,000 international flights, both arriving and departing. Passengers will come from 14 locations in Asia, 14 in the Middle East and the Gulf, 17 in Africa, and 22 in Europe and the Americas. In addition to SAA's regular fleet, ten Boeings have been rented to accommodate them.
Meanwhile, it was announced today that the second phase has been completed of the project to set up fireproof tents at Mina. There are now over 20,000 of them available for pilgrims. In addition, large water reservoirs have been constructed on the hilltops of Mina and Al-Musaisem for use in extinguishing any outbreak of fire that may occur.