By Abdullateef Aliyu
Lagos — Aviation expert and Secretary of Aviation Roundtable (ART), Group Captain John Ojikutu has queried the rationale behind the allocation of 45 percent of Nigerian pilgrims for the 2017 Hajj to only Saudi Arabian carrier, Flynas.
He described the decision by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) as a ‘total rip off’ on Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government to query Saudi authorities over the issue.
Ojikutu made the observations in a statement on Thursday.
He criticised government’s allocation of multiple slots to foreign carriers operating in the country.
The Aviation expert alleged that the commission just went to organize a unilateral airline to deny domestic airlines the market available for hajj operations.
However, NAHCON in a swift reaction through one of its officials, said the issue of allocating 45 percent to Saudi airline in the 2017 Hajj was beyond the commission, saying the arrangement predated the present leadership in the commission.
The official who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity explained that Saudi has a royal decree giving Saudi Designated Carriers (not Flynas alone) the right to airlift ‘50% of Hajj Traffic under Government quota’ from any country coming for Hajj.