A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the first batch of Hajj pilgrims will leave Dhaka for Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines officials said the first Hajj flight (BG-3001) will depart from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with 419 pilgrims at 7:15am.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali and State Minister for Religious Affairs Advocate Sheikh Md Abdullah are expected to be present at the airport to see the pilgrims off.
Some 1,27,198 Bangladeshi pilgrims are set to perform Hajj this year.
Biman will carry 63,599 passengers, which is about half of the total number of Hajj pilgrims.
The remaining pilgrims will be flown by Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia. The airline will start its Hajj flights on July 6.
This year, for the first time, the immigration formalities of some Bangladeshi pilgrims will be completed in Dhaka.
Biman is going to operate 189 pre-Hajj flights, 157 dedicated and 32 scheduled flights from Thursday to August 5 by its own four ‘Boeing 777-300ER’ planes.
The airline will operate 11 flights to Madina from Dhaka for the first time this year. Apart from Dhaka, 19 Hajj flights will be operated from Chattogram, and three from Sylhet.
Also, Biman will operate 176 post-Hajj flights, 147 dedicated and 29 scheduled flights from August 17 to September 15.
Biman has so far carried 10,60,444 Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia since 1973, said an official press release.