The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH); a National Hajj specific organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims welcomes the directives issued by the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Under regulations issued by the GACA, airlines, airport operators and ground service providers would be fined SR25,000 ($6,666) if they fail to assist passengers with special needs – the equivalent of up to 200 percent of the total value of the ticket.
Airlines have been asked to provide passengers with soft drinks for the first hour of a flight delay, and subsequently hot meals in case of a delay of three hours or more from flight departure time. Airlines would also be obliged to notify passengers of flight cancellations and overbooking 21 days in advance under the new rules.
“The new directives issued by the GACA of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are extremely vital to address the chaotic situation seen specifically during the Hajj period. Every year thousands of pilgrims suffer extreme mental anguish and trauma due to delays and cancellations of flights, poor management, and other violations of international air transport standards by some airlines”, said Khalid Pervez, General Secretary, ABH.
Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK also expresses its grave concern about the recent media report that the Jeddah airport has topped the list of world’s worst airports for 2016. The service provided to the passengers at the airport is being highly criticised for poor hygiene, rude staff and lack of amenities.
ABH strongly urges the relevant authorities of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to look into this issue and to make every effort to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of millions of passengers specifically the Hajj/Umrah pilgrims from around the world who arrive and depart from this airport.