Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 65 per cent waiver on aviation charges for airlines contracted to airlift pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for this year’s hajj exercise.
The waiver is granted to make up for the losses the airlines would have incurred as a result of the closure of Sudan airspace.
NAHCON Chairman, Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, disclosed the new development at a meeting with stakeholders in the aviation sector in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the president approved the waiver to shore up arrangements for seamless Hajj airlift operation.
Sudan airspace closure is occasioned by the ongoing war in the country, which invariably hindered the smooth transit of the commissioned carriers.
With the closure of Sudanese airspace, airlines would be compelled to use another airspace where they would spend not less than seven hours in the sky for a journey of four and a half hours.
Four of the five approved airlines for the 2023 exercise refused to sign the contract agreement with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) last week Thursday following the change in the routine and the consequence cost implication the development would cause them.
The NAHCON Chairman said necessary steps have been taken to prevent any disruption in the airlift exercise once it commences.
He also said that NAHCON had made arrangement with the NNPC for adequate supply of Jet A fuel to the airlines.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu enjoyed the selected carriers to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of engagement.
He said the NCAA will not hesitate to impose sanction on defaulting airline.
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