Mangaluru, May 6: The direct flight service from the international airport in the city for the holy Hajj pilgrimage is cancelled this year.
After Covid pandemic, facility was offered for Hajj pilgrims to travel from the city airport directly. The pilgrims were also given the opportunity to choose their airport of boarding. However, Indian Hajj committee has cancelled several embarkation centres in the country, which includes international airport of the city also.
Hajj pilgrims of Karnataka state used to board flights from Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Goa and Hyderabad. Now due to the cancellation of embarkation point from the city, pilgrims of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu and Hassan are facing inconvenience. The Indian Hajj committee has asked the pilgrims from these districts to choose embarkation point among Bengaluru, Chennai, Kannur and Kochi.
Last year, due to Covid pandemic, direct embarkation from the city was not allowed. Hence, this time the state Hajj committee had requested All India Hajj committee to allow pilgrims to board from the city international airport. However, Mangaluru airport is dropped from the embarkation airport list.
Haneef, secretary, Dakshina Kannada district Hajj maintenance committee said that the pilgrims of Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts will face inconvenience due to the cancellation of Mangaluru airport embarkation point.
Unhappy pilgrims said, “We find it difficult to board the flight from Bengaluru, Kannur or Kochi as we have to go to those places well in advance. This creates lodging issues for self and our relatives who come to see us off. Moreover, financial burden also increases. Hence, the Indian Hajj committee has to look into this issue and allow us to board the flight from Mangaluru.”