PETALING JAYA – Sixty-four flights will be carrying 22,320 Malaysian pilgrims from seven departure stations to the holy land this year, said Tabung Haji (TH) senior general manager Datuk Syed Salleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
He said 990 pilgrims would depart for KL International Airport (KLIA) from the new departure station, Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Baharu before departing to the holy land.
“TH will still be using Malaysia Airlines and Saudi Airlines this season,” he told reporters at the Kelana Jaya TH Complex, near here today.
He said this after sending off the third group of 211 TH personnel, who would be in the holy land during this year’s Haj season. Among them were 22 journalists and medical team of 84 from Health Ministry.
Syed Salleh, who is also 1436H Haj Delegation head, said TH had given licenses to 18 private companies, including to a subsidiary of TH, TH Travel & Services, to handle this year’s Haj packages.
Syed Salleh also advised the pilgrims to take care of themselves because this haj season would be in summer with temperatures that could reach over 40 degrees Celsius.
“We also advise the pilgrims not to be exposed too much to the sun and always take care of their health in order to perform the perfect haj,” he said.
He said four health care centres, three in Makkah and one in Medina, with 260 beds had been prepared for the pilgrims.
The first flight will leave at 5.30am on Sunday and the last flight on Sept 16 while the return flights to Malaysia are scheduled to start on Sept 29 and end on Oct 27, he said.
He said the Malaysian pilgrims quota was still 22,320 people, about 20 per cent less than the actual quota because of the on-going development works at the Masjidil Haram.
“God willing, next year’s quota will return to 27,900 people,” he said. – BERNAMA