Boost for pilgrims as Air India Express to launch weekly flight on Tiruchy-Jeddah sector on June 12

As per schedule, the Air India Express flight will depart from Tiruchy at 12.55 pm and reach the port city of Jeddah at 6.25 pm.
Air India Express flight image used for representation purpose
Air India Express flight image used for representation purposeFile photo

TIRUCHY: In a relief for the Tamil diaspora in Saudi Arabia and those wishing to undertake Haj pilgrimage, Air India Express will launch a weekly service to Jeddah from Tiruchy international airport on June 12. The flight will have a stopover at Mangaluru.

With the new destination, the number of foreign countries connected from Tiruchy has increased to 10. While Saudi Arabian Airlines used to operate a service in the Tiruchy-Jeddah sector, it was suspended during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, official sources said.

As per schedule, the Air India Express flight will depart from Tiruchy at 12.55 pm and reach the port city of Jeddah at 6.25 pm. The return flight will depart at 7.25 pm and arrive at Tiruchy at 5.35 am.

The service will be operated on Wednesdays, authorities said. J Jahir Hussain, Tamil Nadu chapter chairman for the Travel Agents Federation of India, said that the new service will benefit Tamils working in Jeddah, a considerable number of whom he added are from the central region of Tamil Nadu.

"Unlike previous years, Muslims now visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina throughout the year. As Jeddah is centrally located for Haj and Umrah pilgrims, passengers find it convenient to travel on this flight. Formalities such as immigration and luggage check are completed at the Tiruchy airport itself.

There is great potential in the sector and services should hence be increased," Hussain added. When contacted, Abdul Rahman, chairman of the Tamil Nadu Wakf Board and former Lok Sabha MP, told TNIE that Jeddah served as a modern commercial hub and gateway for pilgrims to the Islamic holy cities. The new service by Air India Express will hence provide senior citizens a convenient means of travel to the city, he added.

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