Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) has arranged special flights for Thai Muslims to attend the Hajj Pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, with flights departing from Narathiwat Airport to Jeddah Airport, Saudi Arabia and flights departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport and Krabi International Airport.
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime. The word Hajj is Arabic for ‘to intend a journey’. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam – the others are shahadah (declaration of faith); salat (daily prayer); zakat (giving of alms); sawm (fasting in Ramadan).
About two million Muslims from around the world go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every year in an act of faith and repentance for the Hajj pilgrimage. One of the world’s largest annual gatherings and a central pillar of the Islamic faith, the five-day spiritual journey is meant to cleanse the faithful of sin and bring them closer to God.
In 2018, Thai will operate 14 roundtrip flights for approximately 4,000 passengers participating in the Hajj pilgrimage. A total of six flights will depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport, six flights from Narathiwat Airport, and two flights from Krabi International Airport, with flights operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Usanee Sangsingkeo, THAI acting president, said that THAI arranged charter flights for Hajj pilgrims since 2005, in accordance to a cabinet decision for Ministry of Transport to arrange annual Hajj flights. In preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a representative from THAI participates as part of a subcommittee under the Hajj Committee of Thailand, which is overseen by the Ministry of Interior, with all arrangements based on agreements between the Thai Government and Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, the airline’s halal kitchen will prepare inflight meals that will be served on board prepared in strict adherence to Islamic dietary requirements.
THAI’s Haj Schedule
24 -27 July 2018:
– Two flights per day between Narathiwat-Jeddah during 24-26 July 2018 or a total of 6 flights
– One flight from Bangkok-Jeddah on 27 July 2018
3-6 August 2018:
– Two flights per day between Krabi-Medina on 3 August 2018
– Two flights per day from Bangkok-Medina during 4-5 August 2018 and one flight on 6 August 2018 or a total of five flights
5-12 September 2018:
– Two flights per day between Medina-Narathiwat during 5-7 September 2018 or a total of six flights
– One flight from Medina-Bangkok on 8 September 2018
– Two flights per day between Jeddah-Krabi on 9 September 2018
– Two flights per day from Jeddah-Bangkok during 10-11 September 2018 and one flight on 12 September 2018 or a total of five flights