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8th November 2011 Print, the leisure airline, increased its dedicated service for pilgrims taking part in this year’s annual Hajj, with specialist departures from Leeds Bradford International, Manchester, Birmingham and East Midlands airports. 

The dedicated programme transported over 2,000 passengers to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj, the world’s largest annual pilgrimage. Operating a total of nine return trips, three from Leeds Bradford, four from Manchester, one from East Midlands and one from new departure point Birmingham, provided the only direct service from both Leeds Bradford and East Midlands Airports.

Philip Meeson, boss of commented: “Our specialist Hajj flights were extremely popular last year and it is fantastic that we were again able to offer this increased service from even more of our airport bases for 2011. We are very keen to listen to the needs of our customers and it is obvious that there is huge demand amongst the Muslim community for dedicated flights to Jeddah during November. Working closely with Sky-Fly Connections and PAK Travels, we are proud of our Hajj offering and are confident that the route will continue to build on the success of last year’s operation.” 

This year, the Hajj takes place from 4th to 9th November 2011 and is a demonstration of solidarity amongst the Muslim people in their submission to Allah. It sees thousands of pilgrims converge on Mecca to perform a series of prayer rituals. The pilgrimage is hugely important and every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so is required to make the journey at least once in their lifetime.

Respecting Muslim traditions ensured that all catering adhered to Halal methods, no alcohol was served on board and that cabin crew were sensitive to the practice of prayer whilst in flight.  Prayer facilities were also made available in the airport terminal prior to departure. increased it’s already generous baggage allowance of 22kg, for pilgrims to bring back the important Zam Zam holy water.

Hajj flights with were sold directly through Sky-Fly Connections for the Leeds Bradford, Birmingham and Manchester departures. East Midland departures were sold directly through PAK Travels Ltd.