Budget carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday announced it will be operating 148 special flights from and to Srinagar to ferry pilgrims for this year's Hajj.
The flights will be operated between 4 July and 29 July and16 August and 11 September.
A spokesman of the airline said it will fly more than 11,000Hajj pilgrims from Srinagar to Madina and Jeddah and back on special flights.
"SpiceJet is honoured to play a small part in helpingpilgrims travel to Makkah for the Hajj pilgrimage this year," Ajay Singh,chairman and managing director of the airline, said in a statement.
"We will make every effort to provide a hassle-free anddelightful travel experience for all our pilgrim passengers," he said.
As per the spokesman, the airline will deploy its Boeing737-800 aircraft to ferry pilgrims.
Jeddah is in close proximity to the pilgrim destinations ofMakkah and Madina and its King Abdul Aziz International Airport acts as one ofthe main transit points for lakhs of Hajj pilgrims and tourists across theglobe.
In March, SpiceJet had announced daily non-stop commercialflight operations between Hyderabad and Jeddah.
While SpiceJet will be handling Hajj operations fromSrinagar for the first time, divisional administration has recently askedairport authorities to ensure that Hajj flights depart on scheduled time.
Hajj Officer Muhammad Maqbool said they are in closecoordination with the Airports Authority of India and other officials to ensuresmooth departure of flights.
Maqbool said some of the pilgrims from far-flung areas havebeen provided accommodation at Srinagar. "There would be two flights daily from 4 July to 20 July and then fourflights daily. All arrangements have been put in place," Maqbool said.
A local representative of SpiceJet told Greater Kashmir theairline is working toward maintaining punctuality even though it issingle-handedly operating Hajj flights from Jammu and Kashmir.
He said Hajj operations from Indore and Bhopal led bySpiceJet during last few years were "quite smooth and on-time."
"In past we operated some Hajj flights from the Valley in2011 but this is for the first time we are handling the operations entirely.The fact that SpiceJet now operates flights from various cities in India showsthat the airline has grown by leaps and bounds," the official said.