KUWAIT: Kuwaiti pilgrims are advised to travel to hajj using their civil IDs instead of passports for easier and faster procedures. “Using the civil ID saves time, as they only have to swipe it and passenger is on the way, which is easier than stamping. Also, it allows the pilgrim to leave from another gate if the hajj campaign arranges for it,” said Meshaal Al-Dalk, Kuwait Airways’ Regional Director for Gulf, during a honoring ceremony held yesterday at the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) headquarters.

According to Saudi regulations, pilgrims should enter and leave from the special gate for hajj. “If they enter with their passports and get a stamp, they should also leave from the same gate. The Kuwaiti hajj campaigns have succeeded to get exceptions when leaving Saudi Arabia to use a different gate. We have faced problems with those using their passport, as the procedure was complicated due to the stamp,” Dalk added.
Kuwait Airways has 25 flights to three destinations in Saudi Arabia during the hajj season. “We offer additional flights during hajj on board of our 10 Boeing B777-300 ER aircraft with 290 seats in economy. We have added nine flights for departures and eight for arrivals. KAC flies to Jeddah, Madinah and Taif. Prices of tickets to Saudi Arabia for hajj will remain the same as last year,” Dalk pointed out. “We have a special team of employees in Kuwait and in Saudi Arabia to help passengers during hajj. All flights will depart from Terminal 4 of Kuwait International Airport,” he concluded.

During the event, representatives of hajj campaigns and travel agencies that dealt with KAC last year during the Hajj season were feted. The media were also awarded for supporting KAC in that period. “We held this ceremony to express our appreciation to travel agencies and hajj campaigns for choosing Kuwait Airways as their carrier for hajj. We would also like to thank the media for their coverage. This ceremony is part of our preparations for the coming hajj period,” stressed Ahmad Al-Ajmi, Head of the Hajj and Umrah Committee at KAC.

KAC is providing many facilities for pilgrims. “We provide check-in procedures for pilgrims 72 hours prior to their flights. We also allow them to check in their luggage 24 hours before the flight. In addition, passengers are allowed to choose their seats 72 hours prior to their flight,” he explained. “We have two offices in Saudi Arabia to finalize travel procedures of pilgrims a day in advance. The pilgrims will also receive their luggage easily at Kuwait Airport after returning,” Ajmi said.

By Nawara Fattahova