By MD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS
Published: Nov 22, 2010 00:29 Updated: Nov 22, 2010 00:29
JEDDAH: Huge crowds at the domestic terminal disappeared at noon on Sunday denoting the end of the peak time in the departure of the returning local and Gulf pilgrims three days after Haj.
The crowding during the past couple of days was attributed to the disruption of flight schedules because of a delay in the arrival of pilgrims to the airport.
By Sunday evening, 28 flights in addition to many additional flights departed from the airport.
More than 135,000 copies of the Holy Qur’an, which are gifts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to pilgrims, and many other books on Islam were also distributed among pilgrims before their departure from the Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Medical centers at the airport offered various kinds of assistance to more than 4,000 Hajis over the past three days, according to director of the medical centers Abdul Ghani Al-Malki. The center is also providing needed support to the Haj missions in the three terminals in the airport, he said.
“The real test for the airport officials will begin by the end of this week and the beginning of next when the bulk of the returning pilgrims is expected to arrive at the airport,” according to informed sources. The smooth return of pilgrims could be ensured if they cooperate with the airport officials and carefully follow the instructions about their baggage, which has been one of the major causes for delays, the source said.
Meanwhile, 24,117 pilgrims arrived at Madinah’s Prince Muhammad International Airport from Makkah and 414 left for their homes, according to a report of the Madinah Haj Committee on Sunday. The report also showed that 26,925 pilgrims arrived in the city and 661 left through different routes. Currently there are 10,991 Egyptian, 3,416 Indonesian and 2,909 Palestinian pilgrims left in Madinah, the report said.
Buses of the returning pilgrims are parked in front of the Passport office, 21 km from Madinah. The buses coming to Madinah are parked in front of the Pilgrim Reception Center.
— with input from Y. Muhammad
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