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How Saudi Arabia Plans for Air Taxis to Transport Pilgrims Between Jeddah and the Grand Mosque

In a groundbreaking move, Saudi Arabia's national carrier, Saudia, is set to revolutionize pilgrimage transportation by introducing an air service connecting the Red Sea city of Jeddah to the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site. According to Abdullah Al Shahrani, the director of corporate communication at Saudia, the airline has inked a deal for 100 Lilium jets, German electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.


evtol aircrafts

The futuristic eVTOL aircraft, designed to carry up to six passengers, will operate between King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah and designated airstrips in Mecca hotels near the Grand Mosque and other sacred locations. Al Shahrani revealed that Saudia is actively collaborating with legal institutions in the country to secure flying permits for these cutting-edge electric aircraft.



Anticipating a "qualitative" shift in transportation during the Umrah seasons and the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Al Shahrani highlighted that this initiative marks the debut of such aircraft in the kingdom. Although the official did not disclose the exact commencement date of the service, the prospect of using eVTOLs for pilgrimage travel in Saudi Arabia is on the horizon.


Last year, nearly 2 million pilgrims, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels, performed the obligatory Islamic duty of Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the number of Umrah pilgrims soared to a record 13.5 million, as announced by Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq Al Rabiah, earlier in the week.


Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has been actively enhancing facilities for Muslims coming to the country for Umrah. Visa holders now enjoy entry through all land, air, and sea outlets. Notably, the kingdom has extended invitations to its citizens to sponsor friends from abroad for Umrah visits, eliminating the requirement for female pilgrims to be escorted by male guardians.


This series of progressive measures reflects Saudi Arabia's commitment to facilitating a seamless and inclusive pilgrimage experience.




Source: Gulf News 

 

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