By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA—Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh, has led technical experts to Istanbul, Turkey to inspect the approved aircraft that will fly intending pilgrims to Israel, Rome and Greece for the 2013 Christian Pilgrimage operations.
Also security operatives deployed to accompany pilgrims for this year’s Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in Israel have been urged to ensure the achievement of their mandate.
A statement in Abuja said, members of the inspection team inspected the two aifrcraft, Airbus A330 – 300 with 387 passenger capacity seats, with 12 Business class each with eight toilets, manufactured in February and November, 1996.
According to the statement, “the aircraft also have entailment systems which are in perfect condition; they are very clean with eight exit points. Members of the inspection team equally visited the Food Centre which is called SANCLA where they worked on the menu being prepared for intending pilgrims. The members were satisfied with the arrangements on ground at the food centre; they made their observations and ensure that the foods are well packaged by the Airline.”
Other members of the inspection team to Istanbul include the Executive Secretary, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, Senate Committee Chairman on Foreign Affairs, Senator Matthew Nwagu, Hon. Matthew Omegwara and Hon. Emmanuel. The inspection team also includes three technical officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
Atlasjet of Turkey was selected as the official airline for the 2013 Christian Pilgrimage operations having successfully emerged through open bidding process and having been approved by the President following the recommendations of the NCPC.
The Atlasjet Airline had earlier in the year signed the Air Carrier Agreement with the Commission following their selection to airlift Nigerian Pilgrims to the Holy Land this year. The airlift of intending pilgrims to the Holy Land will commence on October 19, 2013.