Riyadh: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued new rules for airlines transporting pilgrims for the upcoming Haj season.
The rules cover all airlines working in the kingdom's airports, including private airlines, regarding the health requirements that should be met by passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj, Xinhua news agency quoted the GACA as saying.
According to the new rules, pilgrim passengers should be less than 65 years old, have completed immunisation with basic doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and submit a negative PCR tes taken within 72 hours prior to departure.
Meanwhile, flag carrier Saudia announced on Thursday the allocation of 14 aircraft for pilgrims, which are expected to make 268 international flights from and to 15 destinations worldwide, as well as 32 domestic flights.
In total, the airline will be responsible for providing around 107,000 international and 12,800 domestic seats, it added.
In April, Saudi Arabia announced its plan to receive 1 million domestic and foreign pilgrims during the upcoming Haj season, marking the first time that foreign pilgrims will be allowed to perform the annual pilgrimage after the previous two seasons, which were restricted to domestic pilgrims due to Covid-19 outbreaks.