Saudi Airline to use Air taxis to ferry pilgrims between Jeddah and Grand Mosque

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The service is seen as ‘qualitative’ turn in Hajj transportation

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s national carrier plans to operate an air service to transport pilgrims between the Red Sea city of Jeddah and the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, an official has said.

Saudia has contracted the purchase of 100 Lilium jets, German electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, to shuttle between the King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah and airstrips in Mecca hotels near the Grand Mosque and other holy places, the director of the group’s corporate communication Abdullah Al Shahrani told Saudi news port Akhbar24.

The eVTOL aircraft can carry up to six passengers, the official added.

The Saudi airlines is working with legal institutions in the country to obtain flying permits for this type of electric aircraft, Al Shahrani said, expecting it to mark a “qualitative” turn in transportation during the seasons of Umrah or minor pilgrimage, and annual Hajj pilgrimage.

“This aircraft will be used for the first time in the kingdom,” he added without disclosing the date of commissioning the service.

Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the world performed Hajj, an obligatory Islamic duty, last year in Saudi Arabia, marking the return of their numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

The kingdom has also said that expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are eligible to apply for a tourist visa, regardless of their profession, and be able to perform Umrah.

Source: Gulf News