1,500 return flights scheduled from Madinah
November 9, 2011
A record 1,500 return flights have been scheduled for pilgrims leaving Madinah after completing Hajj rituals, according to a report by OKAZ newspaper published in the Saudi Gazette today. Authorities at Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Airport have drawn up plans to cope with the 400,000 pilgrims expected to leave the city by air.
Approximately 1.2 million visitors are expected to arrive in Madinah after Hajj, a figure that is slightly up from last year’s numbers. As many as 25,000 government employees will be waiting to receive bus convoys carrying pilgrims from the holy sites. Authorities have reported that they are inspecting 870 licensed residential buildings and food shops to ensure that they can provide accommodations for pilgrims, while complying with construction regulations.
Meanwhile, employees of the security and services sectors have increased their numbers at key locations in order to ease the flow of pilgrims and to guide them to their accommodations. Traffic Department teams and security patrols have secured all major roads and in and out of the city in order to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles. The scale of this year’s operation is unprecedented, officials say, with 2,730 buses departing to the holy sites in just 26 hours.