Karachi: With the commencement of the Hajj season and upcoming Eid Al Adha celebrations, Emirates is layering on additional flights to key regional destinations to meet significant travel demand during this special period.
Additional Flights for Hajj
As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifts all Hajj travel restrictions for the first time in three years, Emirates has deployed additional flights for pilgrims to embark on their journey to and from the Holy City of Makkah. Ten flights have been added to and from Jeddah. All flights will be operated on Boeing 777 aircraft dedicated for Hajj pilgrims until 7 July. The Hajj flights to Jeddah will run in parallel to Emirates’ existing schedule to the Kingdom and are open to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa and, if above the age of 12, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Medina will also be served with daily flights during this time.
This year, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah anticipates 2.6 million pilgrims, reaching pre-pandemic numbers and the additional flights aim to help seamlessly carry pilgrims. Emirates has already seen strong bookings for Hajj travel from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Mauritius and South Africa.
Increased Flights for Eid Al Adha
Gearing up for a busy travel period for Eid Al Adha, Emirates has deployed an additional 34 flights to popular destinations across the region. With an estimated 78,000 people from across the region expected to travel with Emirates during the Eid Al Adha six-day break, the additional flights will facilitate passengers traveling home to celebrate with their family and friends.
For passengers traveling to the Levant, Emirates has added ten flights to Amman from 21 to 30 June, and ten additional flights to Beirut from 20 to 29 June. Within the GCC, the airline has added five flights to Dammam from 21 to 25 June and nine flights to Kuwait from 22 June to 2 July.
Emirates has recorded a 20% increase in demand in comparison to 2022 with a large percentage of its customers heading to India, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, the UK, France and the US, as well as across the region to Lebanon, Jordan and Dubai.
Offering a Pilgrim-Centric Experience
To help create a smooth and peaceful travel experience, Emirates has established a dedicated team to support pilgrims on their once-in-a-lifetime Hajj experience. On the ground in Dubai, an airport team will manage check-in, and Hajj passengers transiting through Dubai will be escorted from their arrival gate to departure gate, with all arrival formalities processed by a dedicated Hajj team.
On board, Emirates provides a pilgrim-centric experience that upholds the values and traditions of the travellers’ faith. Extra provisions have been made to accommodate those performing ablutions and cleansing rituals, while unperfumed towels and additional blankets will be provided. Special PAs will advise passengers when they have entered Al Miqat zones (state of sanctity) and indicate the changing of Ihram robes. Emirates’ award-winning ice system will feature a Hajj video that covers safety, general formalities and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage and the Holy Quran channel will offer additional religious content for travellers to reflect before arriving in Jeddah. Passengers may also check-in up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam), which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.
Celebrating the spirit of Eid Al Adha
Serving its cosmopolitan customer base, Emirates celebrates a wide range of multicultural occasions onboard. The special celebration of Eid Al Adha will see passengers enjoy the traditional treats of Eid from 28 to 30 June. On select outbound flights from Dubai and all flights across the Gulf and Levant, classic Eid dishes will be served across First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class, including regional favourites such as chicken moughalghal, beef sajiyeh, prawn morbian and lamb madfoon in First and Business Class, chicken zurbian and lamb chermoula in Premium Economy, and kebab khashkhash, prawn sayadieh, lamb tagine, Daoud basha and chicken hamsa in Economy.
Desserts will feature a tempting selection of Eid favourites including a honey and white chocolate cake in First Class, pistachio and chocolate namoura cake in Business Class, rehash and white chocolate mousse cake in Premium Economy and coffee cake with Arabica sauce in Economy. All passengers will also receive a bespoke giftbox Eid treat from Emirates, from a chocolate choux and a tahini financier, topped with hazelnut cream to pistachio muhallabia tart or traditional ashta sfouf.
A selection of Emirati pastries and Arabic coffee will also be served in the signature A380 Onboard Lounge.