By Ismail Auwal
Azman Air has disputed that the company lacks the capacity to fly Kano State pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj in 2022.
In an exclusive interview with SAHELIAN TIMES, a source within the airline’s management who responded to the Kano State Government’s rejection of the airline said that the company has been airlifting tour operators pilgrims since 2017 with no major complaints recorded.
“Azman Air maintains a weekly schedule to Saudi Arabia and recently completed the lesser Hajj; it is the local airline that airlifted the majority of the pilgrims,” the insider claimed.
Speaking further, the source noted that “Our experience above can sail us through” adding that this is the first time Azman Air will airlift the state’s pilgrims.
SAHELIAN TIMES gathered that until recently, state governments were responsible for selecting the carrier of their choice to airlift their state’s Hajj pilgrims until the procedure was amended due to serious malpractice in the selection process.
The National Assembly later handed the appointment of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to a robust panel of stakeholders, including FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION, DSS, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kano State Government earlier rejected the decision of the National Hajj Commission to engage Azman Air to airlift intending pilgrims to the 2022 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
The state is against the decision on the grounds that the airlines allegedly lacks professionalism regarding Hajj operations.
However, this reporter has gathered that NAHCON has decided to stick with AZMAN Air.