Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jan 21, 2002
IA Haj flights flagged off from Srinagar
SRINAGAR, Jan. 20
INDIAN Airlines (IA) today operated the first Haj flight between Srinagar and Jeddah, thereby making it more convenient for Hajis from Jammu and Kashmir to travel for pilgrimage.
Addressing the flagging-off ceremony, the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Omar Abdullah, said that the Indian Government had initiated a number of steps to help Indian Hajis, including providing Saudi riyals to the visiting pilgrims.
Earlier, the Indian Hajis were provided bank drafts which they could encash in banks in Jeddah.
"Besides, through the Internet, we are also tracking the progress of the Indian Hajis. This facility should help us provide information on their health and well-being apart from the progress that they have made at the Haj,'' Mr Abdullah said. Though the flight from Srinagar was operated by an IA aircraft, it carried the flight number of Air India and IA. Officials said this was necessary as AI was the designated Indian carrier permitted to fly to Jeddah.
Srinagar airport expansion
Addressing the meeting, the Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, said that his Ministry would soon take up the issue of expansion of the airport in Srinagar. "We would like to announce the expansion plan for the airport at Srinagar at the earliest,'' Mr Hussain said.
The Minister also announced that the Hajis from Jammu and Kashmir wouldl not be charged anything extra than what was being paid by other Indian Hajis.
Later at a meeting with the Chief Minister of the State, Dr Farooq Abdullah, the issue of modernisation of Jammu airport in the State was also discussed.
IA officials said that the Haj flights between Srinagar and Jeddah would be operated in two phases. IA hopes to make a profit of around Rs 4-5 crore on the entire Haj operations in 2002, which is to see the airline carrying passengers from Hyderabad, apart from Srinagar.
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line