A charter flight airlifting 433 Gambian hajj-pilgrims has landed safely in Saudi Arabia.

Flyne flight was on Monday forced to return to Banjul after Mali’s authorities refused to grant access to its airspace following failure by the crew to request overflight permission.

According to the religious affairs ministry, the second and last flights have arrived in Medina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earlier today (28 June).

“All pilgrims were processed and taken to their various hotels as required. As the mMinistry responsible for religious affairs, the Hon Minister and the staff wish to thank the Government of The Gambia, the members of the Hajj Commission, Gambia International Airline, Hajj operators, the pilgrims and their families, Flynas and all stakeholders for their individual and collective efforts in actualising the first stage of Hajj 2022.

“In line with the above, we wish to express our special gratitude to the Consular General and the team in Saudi Arabia.  We wish all the pilgrims a successful and acceptable Hajj,” the ministry said.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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