Staff Correspondent

As per schedule first hajj flight BG-1011 left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Saturday morning. Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal and Religious Affairs Minister Principal Motiur Rahman bade farewell to the pilgrims at the airport. Both ministers exchanged greetings with the pilgrims inside the aircraft.
The first hajj flight carrying 419 pilgrims left Dhaka for Jeddha at 7.55 am and would reach Jeddha at 11.30 am (KSA local time) said a Biman official to Bangladesh Post. Minister Shahjahan Kamal said this year hajj flight operation will be smooth and there is no chance of flight disruption. As per directives we have taken necessary steps to ensure smooth hajj flight operations.
On the other hand, religious affairs minister said, “I assured you all, this year no pilgrims will face harassment by any private hajj agencies.”
Today, four more Biman flights and six Saudi Airlines are supposed to leave Dhaka with pilgrims.
This year a total of 126798 pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. Of them, 6,798 will perform Hajj under government management while 120000 under private management. A total of 528 private hajj agencies under government supervision are conducting hajj operation.
However, the official said, for smooth hajj management Biman Bangladesh Airliners has successfully completed all the necessary preparations. Biman also operates nine hajj flights from Chattagram and three from Sylhet.
This year Biman will carry 64,967 pilgrims through its 187 scheduled hajj flights. Beginning today, the Hajj flight will continue till August 15 and the return hajj flight is scheduled to begin on August 27 and will continue till September 25.
During flight inauguration, Biman director Enamul Bari, managing director AM Mossadik Ahmed, director (administration) Mominul Islam, director (flight operation) Farhat Hassan Jamil, general manager (public relation) Shakil Meraj, HAAB director general Shahadat Hossain Toslim among others were also present at the airport.
It is to be noted, Biman will carry 64,967 pilgrims through 187 flights while the rest 61,831 pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia through 188 flights of Saudi Airlines this year.