Saudi state carrier hit by system failure ahead of hajj

By AFP
Published: August 15, 2018
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The hajj is set to take place from August 19-24
PHOTO COURTESY: AL ARABIYA

The hajj is set to take place from August 19-24 PHOTO COURTESY: AL ARABIYA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Airlines says a system failure has resulted in disruption of flights, as the kingdom prepares to host the annual hajj pilgrimage.

“Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) informs its valued guests about flight delays across the network due to an unforseen system issue,” the state-owned carrier said late Tuesday.

“As a result there are delays on some Saudia flights… the airline is taking all necessary measures to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”

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The hajj, which is expected to draw more than two million pilgrims this year, represents a key rite of passage for Muslims and a massive logistical challenge for Saudi authorities.

So far more than one million pilgrims have arrived in the kingdom, according to state media. The hajj is set to take place from August 19-24.

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Earlier, an international flight left behind 50 Hajj pilgrims at the Karachi airport on Monday owing to lack of space on the plane, Express News reported.

A Saudia Airlines plane was expected to leave at 10am from the Jinnah International Airport, however the plane was short of capacity for the  passengers, according to the airline.

This left children, women and the elderly stranded at the airport draped in their Ihraam.

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