Dubai-based airline Emirates is ramping up its services with additional flights to meet the high travel demand during the Hajj season and the upcoming Eid Al Adha celebrations. As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifts all Hajj travel restrictions for the first time in three years, Emirates is stepping up its efforts to accommodate pilgrims and holiday travelers alike.
To cater to the influx of pilgrims heading to the Holy City of Makkah, Emirates has added ten flights to and from Jeddah, all of which will be operated on Boeing 777 aircraft dedicated to Hajj pilgrims until 7 July. These flights will run alongside Emirates’ existing schedule to the Kingdom and are open to travelers with valid Hajj visas who have received COVID-19 vaccinations, provided they are above the age of 12. Additionally, Medina will receive daily flights during this period.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia estimates that 2.6 million pilgrims will participate in the Hajj this year, marking a return to pre-pandemic numbers. To facilitate seamless travel, Emirates has already witnessed strong bookings from countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Mauritius, and South Africa.
Emirates is also preparing for the bustling travel period surrounding Eid Al Adha, deploying an additional 34 flights to popular destinations across the region. With an estimated 78,000 passengers expected to travel with the airline during the six-day break, the extra flights aim to assist passengers in reuniting with their loved ones for the festive occasion.
For passengers traveling to the Levant, Emirates has added ten flights to Amman and ten more to Beirut. Within the GCC, the airline has increased the number of flights to Dammam and Kuwait. The demand for travel during Eid Al Adha has risen by 20% compared to 2022, with a significant number of customers traveling to India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, the UK, France, and the US, as well as other destinations in the region.
To ensure a smooth and peaceful travel experience, Emirates has established a dedicated team to support pilgrims during their Hajj journey. At the Dubai airport, a specialized team will manage check-in, and passengers transiting through Dubai will receive assistance from their arrival gate to their departure gate, with arrival formalities being processed by a dedicated Hajj team.
Onboard, Emirates aims to provide a pilgrim-centric experience that respects the values and traditions of the travelers’ faith. Special provisions have been made to accommodate the ablutions and cleansing rituals of the pilgrims. Unperfumed towels and additional blankets will be provided, while special announcements will notify passengers when they enter Al Miqat zones (state of sanctity) and when they should change into Ihram robes. Emirates’ award-winning ice system will feature a Hajj video covering safety, general formalities, and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Additionally, the Holy Quran channel will offer religious content for travelers to reflect upon before arriving in Jeddah. Passengers will also be allowed to check-in up to 5 liters of holy water (Zamzam), which will be placed in designated areas in the cargo hold.
Emirates is known for celebrating multicultural occasions onboard, and Eid Al Adha is no exception. From 28 to 30 June, passengers will be treated to traditional Eid delicacies on select outbound flights from Dubai and all flights across the Gulf and Levant. The mouthwatering menu will include regional favorites such as chicken moughalghal, beef sajiyeh, prawn morbian, lamb madfoon, chicken zurbian, lamb chermoula, ke