In the fourth batch, as many as 304 Hajj pilgrims Sunday departed for Saudi Arabia from Srinagar International Airport in two flights.
Amid emotional scenes, the pilgrims were greeted andseen-off by their relatives at the Hajj House at Bemina, here.
A total of 11,700 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir willperform this year's Hajj. The first batch of pilgrims left Srinagar on July 4.The last batch will leave on July 29.
As per the Hajj House spokesman, the fourth batch departedfrom Srinagar airport in two morning flights. It included 167 male and 137female pilgrims of whom 102 were from Srinagar, 23 from Anantnag, 133 fromBandipora,21 from Baramulla, 6 from Budgam, 5 from Kupwara , 6 from Pulwama and8 from Shopian. Executive Officer, State Hajj Committee, Abdul Salaam Mir saidthe budget airliner SpiceJet will ferry pilgrims to Medina till July 20 afterwhich flights are scheduled to depart for Jeddah as pilgrims will be headingtowards Makkah then. Mir said all arrangements have been made at the Hajj Housein Bemina.
"The Hajj House acts as mini airport for pilgrims. Itprovides all arrangements like transportation, boarding, lodging, luggagechecking and security," Mir said, adding that there is also arrangement ofhassle-free screening of baggage, refreshment, food, Nimaz, distribution oftravel documents and issuance of boarding passes at the Hajj House forhassle-free journey of pilgrims.
SpiceJet will operate 148 special flights from and toSrinagar to ferry pilgrims for this year's Hajj. The flights will be operatedbetween July 4 and July 29 and for return, the flights are scheduled betweenAugust 16 and September 11.
As per the company spokesman, the airline has deployed its Boeing 737-800 aircraft to ferrypilgrims from Srinagar.
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 past we operated some Hajj flights from the Valley in2011 but this is for the first time we are handling the operations all byourselves. We are hopeful that pilgrims will receive utmost comfort during thejourney," said an airline executive.