This time Hajj airfare is doubled.
Hajj fares for pilgrims have been reduced by Tk 10,191 this year, more than double the normal time. This year too, the pilgrims will have to pay 1 lakh 26 thousand rupees for airfare.
At present, the airfare for Umrah passengers is Rs 52,000. Hub leaders have said they will continue to demand lower air fares for pilgrims. There is also a demand to launch a third career.
There are also high court directives regarding the launch of the third career. With the launch of the third carrier, it is possible to further reduce air fares and reduce the duration of the Hajj package. An inter-ministerial meeting at the Secretariat yesterday decided to reduce the airfare for Hajj.
Later in the afternoon, at a press briefing organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, it was informed that the airfare would be reduced from Tk 1,36,191 to Tk 10,191 last year. As a result, 1 lakh 26 thousand rupees will be added to the Hajj package this year. This rent will be more than 4 thousand rupees than in 2016. That year the air fare was 1 lakh 24 thousand 623 rupees.
Maulana Yaqub Sharafati, senior vice-president of the hub, told Naya Digant last evening that even after reducing the airfare by Tk 10,191, the fare is more than double the normal time. We will continue to demand a reduction in air fares below Tk 1 lakh. Maulana Yaqub Sharafati was also present at the inter-ministerial meeting. Hub President Abdus Chobhan Bhuiyan and Secretary General M Shahadat Hossain Taslim were present at the briefing.
Hub leaders at the meeting demanded a reduction in air fares and the launch of a third carrier in light of court directions. However, even though the airfare has been reduced by Tk 10,191 from last year, no decision has been taken about the third carrier, said the hub leaders.
Maulana Yaqub Sharafati told Naya Digant that we will continue our efforts to realize our demands. Because of the airfare, the package price of the pilgrims increases. According to hub leaders, the package time could be reduced to 20 to 30 days if third carriers such as Saudi Airlines and a few other airlines outside Bangladesh Biman are allowed to transport pilgrims.
But due to being limited to only two airlines, pilgrims have to stay in Saudi Arabia for 30 to 42 days. As the cost of food increases, so does the holiday problem for employees.
Ignoring the hub’s demand, the airfare per pilgrim was increased to Tk 1,36,191 last year. Which was 13 thousand rupees more than in 2016. In 2016, the air fare was 1 lakh 24 thousand 723 rupees. Even after reducing 10 thousand 191 rupees this year, it is about 4 thousand rupees more than last year.
Statistics show that in 2008 the air fare was 98,960 rupees, in 2009 it was 92,280 rupees, in 2010 it was 98,425 rupees, in 2011 it was 1 lakh 10,950 rupees, in 2012 it was 1 lakh 23,620 rupees, in 2013 it was 1 lakh rupees. 22 thousand 23 rupees, 1 lakh 19 thousand 354 rupees in 2014, 1 lakh 19 thousand 46 rupees in 2015, 1 lakh 22 thousand 85 rupees in 2016.
After the hike in air fares last year, Hubb demanded a reduction in air fares for Hajj through a third party. At a press conference, Hub Secretary General Md Shahadat Hossain Taslim demanded that Bangladesh Biman fix their fares themselves. But it should have been done with a third person. They can’t do it according to the rules. Therefore, other experts involved in aviation have to determine the fare with responsibility in this regard. And that would be right.
He cited the example of India, where air fares have been reduced this year compared to last year, while raising air fares in our country is a completely unreasonable and unjust decision. He said the increase in air fares was on the pretext of increasing the price of jet fuel or imposing VAT. Which is completely unreasonable.
According to the concerned, the current fare for Dhaka-Jeddah-Dhaka round trip on other airlines including Biman Bangladesh Airlines is Rs 36,000 to Rs 45,000 for ordinary passengers. The return fare for Umrah passengers is 49 thousand to 52 thousand rupees. In the case of Hajj pilgrims, since the aircraft has to come empty in one way, the maximum fare for Hajj pilgrims can be doubled, i.e. from Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
Moreover, Biman Bangladesh Airlines usually handles flights with 70 to 85 percent passengers throughout the year. But during the Hajj, the flight is operated with about 100 percent passengers. During the Hajj, the cost of aircraft is reduced in many other sectors, including the publicity sector.
In this regard, after the issue of airfare was decided yesterday, the first cabinet meeting on January 21 is likely to present and approve this year’s Hajj package and Hajj policy, the concerned said. If it is not possible for any reason, it may be submitted to the second cabinet meeting. In that case, this year’s Hajj package may be announced in the first week of next month.
The annual calendar prepared by the Ministry of Religion for Hajj activities mentions the announcement of the Hajj package on January 15. But the announcement is being delayed due to the 11th parliamentary elections.
State Minister for Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said in a press briefing at the Ministry of Aviation and Tourism yesterday afternoon that the fare for Hajj would be reduced to Tk 1.28 lakh per passenger.
Yesterday afternoon, civil aviation was also an intercom related to Hajj in the meeting room of the Ministry of Tourism
Mahbubur Rahman Tuhin, public relations officer of the ministry, said that he made the announcement after the meeting of the ministry. Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Md. Abdullah was present at the time.
Also present at the inter-ministerial meeting were Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mahibul Haque, Religious Secretary Anisur Rahman, representatives of Hub and Atab and officials of the concerned ministries and departments.
In a press briefing, Mahbub Ali said that the airline authorities will fulfill their responsibility so that the passengers can perform Hajj in a well-managed manner. We have already discussed. I listened to everyone. With the efforts of all, we can reduce the suffering of the people.
Minister of State for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah said in the context of reduction of air fares, “I know that the Minister of State for Aviation is a very kind and polite person.” He has kept our word, thank him so much for that. “We will shed blood through the eyes of those who shed water through the eyes of the pilgrims,” he said. That’s my point. In this case, I hope everyone involved in Hajj will be careful.