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Friday, May 24, 2024

Saudi Arabia to launch flying Taxi for Hajj, Umrah

Saudi Airlines has expressed interest in initiating the flying Taxi service. The airline intends to buy 100 aircraft for the service.

Saudi Arabia is planning the launch a flying Taxi service to transport Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah to Makkah.

Flying Taxis will transport pilgrims from the airport to hotels in Makkah. Saudi Press Agency announced on Saturday. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser, mentioned last year that trials for flying taxis would take place during the Hajj pilgrimage soon. While the air taxis are expected to be operational soon, it won’t happen within this year.

Abdulaziz Al Duailej, the President of the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation, expressed that the successful test flight marks a significant achievement in the Saudi aviation sector.

He emphasized the industry’s utilization of emerging technology to enhance its contribution to the country’s GDP and generate additional employment opportunities within the kingdom.

Last year, Saudi Arabia had received nearly 2 million Hajj pilgrims. Meanwhile, the annual number of Umrah pilgrims is increasing rapidly. Last year, 750,000 Hajj pilgrims used the Haramain High-Speed railway.

Saudi Airlines has expressed interest in initiating the flying Taxi service. The airline intends to buy 100 aircraft for the service.

The organization has set a target to acquire 100 Lilium jets, which are German-manufactured electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. These will be deployed to connect the Jeddah airport with airstrips located in Makkah, facilitating transportation to hotels near the Grand Mosque and other sacred sites.

In other news, a record number of 13.5 million Muslims performed the Umrah pilgrimage, making it the highest number of international pilgrims performing the ritual, says the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah.

Kingdom saw a surge of 58% in the Umrah pilgrims visiting the country in 2023. Five million more pilgrims visited the Kingdom in 2023 than the previous year.

Read more: In 2023, a record 13.5 million international pilgrims performed Umrah

“I am pleased to share some good and unprecedented news. The highest number of pilgrims arriving from outside the Kingdom in 2019 was 8.5 million. This year [2023], and in light of the facilities introduced by the Kingdom’s leadership, the number rose to 13,550,000 million Umrah pilgrims,” al-Rabiah told the Hajj and Umrah Services Conference and Exhibition.

According to the minister, the country has invested $1.3 billion to upgrade the facilities at Holy sites.