SRINAGAR: To ensure that Srinagar-bound Hajj flights arrive early in the day, Air India (AI) on Monday re-drew its flight schedule. The airlines did so after the intervention of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who took a strong note of the delay caused in the landing of the first Hajj flight at Srinagar Airport and the consequent inconvenience caused to the Hajj pilgrims.
The Chief Minister had on September 7 asked the Chief Secretary to take up the matter with the authorities of Civil Aviation in the central government and to ask the airlines authorities and the Air Traffic Control to ensure that the delay in Hajj flights is not repeated.
As per the schedule communicated by Air India on Monday, flights from Saudi Arabia to Srinagar would be rescheduled to arrive early in the afternoon at 1.55 PM and 03.15 PM daily, except for two flights on September 13 and 14 which would be landing at 10 AM in the morning.
The Chief Minister had also directed the state administration to ensure that in no case shall the flights carrying Hajjies back home be made to wait for landing or put to any inconvenience. The flights, as per the revised schedule by Air India, would now be directly arriving to Srinagar early afternoon rather than getting diverted via Delhi.
Meanwhile, the J&K Resident Commissioner at New Delhi, on the instructions of the Chief Minister, had set up a team comprising SP-CID Cell, New Delhi, and Protocol Officers to monitor Hajj flights from Saudi Arabia to Srinagar daily, so that arrangements are made well in advance in case of any eventuality.
Two flights of Hajj pilgrims arrived early afternoon on Monday as per the revised schedule.