Aviation authorities at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have returned about 2,000 pieces of luggage belonging to Nigerian pilgrims.
The luggage were earlier withheld for being above the stipulated weight allowed.
Spokesman of Max Airlines, one of the three airlines engaged in transporting the pilgrims back home, Ibrahim Dahiru, said that each of the luggage was found to be above the 32kg allowed for each pilgrim. Saudi authorities had warned pilgrims that they would strictly enforce the rule which allowed each pilgrim to carry a maximum of 32kg as main luggage and eight kilos as hand luggage.
Officials of the Nigeria Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had in various visits to pilgrims’ camps in Muna and their hotels in Makkah, urged the pilgrims to adhere strictly to the rule to avoid flight delays.
Dahiru, however, said the consignment was returned to the airline in the last four days. He added that most of the luggage belonged to pilgrims from Kano State and Kebbi.
The spokesman said that the airline had started sorting out the returned luggage to ensure that it met the stipulated weight before transporting to Nigeria. He appealed to pilgrims affected to exercise patience while the process was being concluded and urged those yet to submit their luggage to adhere to the rule in order to avoid delay.
Meanwhile, Max Air had transported 13,000 pilgrims back home since the operation begun on Sept. 17.
According to Dahiru the pilgrims, transported in 26 flights are from Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue. He said the airline was allocated 30,000 pilgrims and was hopeful to return all of them back home before the Oct. 17 deadline given by NAHCON.