New Delhi: Over 20,000 pilgrims headed for the annual Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia flew out of Indira Gandhi International airport here this year, with the last batch leaving for Medina on Thursday.
Since the first batch of around 900 pilgrims departed from the airport on September 9, a total of 20,700 pilgrims, mostly from Delhi and adjoining areas, have boarded planes for Saudi Arabia, an IGIA official said.
Saudi Arabian Airlines was the designated carrier for Haj and it operated a total of 52 flights with Boeing 747, Boeing 767 and Airbus 330 type aircraft.
Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) had made arrangements in Terminal 2 for the pilgrims with eight immigration, 20 check-in and eight foreign exchange counters.
DIAL had also made special arrangements for the pilgrims to offer prayers and provided basic medical support for the Hajjis both inside and outside the terminal building.
"We have left no stone unturned in providing support (for the hajjis) as they embark on this journey. DIAL has always taken special care of the Hajjis for whom this is a once-in-a -lifetime journey," said DIAL CEO, I Prabhakar Rao.
DIAL has been working in close coordination with the Haj Committee, the Delhi Government, Customs, Immigration, CISF, Delhi Police, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to ensure a seamless journey for the devout, he added.
The pilgrims would start returning to Delhi from October 21 through till November 5.
Saudi Arabian Airlines would be operating 52 flights from Medina for the return leg.