The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued new rules for airlines transporting pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj season, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The rules cover all airlines working in the kingdom’s airports, including private airlines, regarding the health requirements that should be met by passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.
According to the new rules, pilgrim passengers should be less than 65 years old, have completed immunization with basic doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and submit a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours prior to departure to the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Airlines SAUDIA, the national flag carrier, announced on Thursday the allocation of 14 aircraft for pilgrims, which are expected to make 268 international flights from and to 15 stations worldwide, as well as 32 domestic flights.
In total, the airline will be responsible for providing around 107,000 international and 12,800 domestic seats during the Hajj Season, it added.
Saudi Arabia announced in April its plan to receive 1 million domestic and foreign pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj season, marking the first time that foreign pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj after the previous two seasons, which were restricted to domestic pilgrims due to COVID-19 outbreaks.