LONDON – With the annual Hajj Pilgrimage set to begin next month, Thai Airways have signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide special charter flights for Thai Muslims wishing to attend.
The MOU arrangements
Present at the recent MOU signing were several key personnel, presided over by Mr. Korakot Chatasingha, Director of Sales, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), as the Chairman of THAI Hajj Special Affairs Committee and Mr. Somsak Charoenpaitoon, Deputy Director-General, Department of the Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior.
The MOU sets out the airlines support for the transport arrangements of approximately 2,508 Thai Muslims travelling to Saudi Arabia to attend the Pilgrimage.
Under the MOU, the airline will cater to the specific needs of travelling participants.
Halal meals and beverages will be served on all special flights, prepared in strict adherence to Islamic dietary requirements by THAI’s Halal kitchen that has HAL-Q certification.
2022 Hajj Pilgrimage flight scheduling
The Hajj Pilgrimage commences on the evening of Thursday, 7 July and finishes on the evening of Tuesday, 12 July.
THAI is set to operate nine special roundtrip flights that depart from three destinations in Thailand: Narathiwat, Hat Yai and Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), and arrive in two destinations in Saudi Arabia: Medina and Jeddah.
2022 departure and return dates
The full scheduling of THAI charter flights will be as follows:
Departure flights will operate during the periods 10 – 13 June 2022 and 29 June – 3 July 2022.
- Narathiwat – Medina: two flights during 10 – 11 June 2022
- Hat Yai – Medina: two flights during 12 – 13 June 2022
- Hat Yai – Jeddah: three flights during 29 June – 1 July 2022
- Bangkok – Jeddah: two flights during 2 – 3 July 2022
Return flights will then operate during the periods 18 – 21 July 2022 and 8 – 12 August 2022.
- Jeddah – Narathiwat: two flights during 18 – 19 July 2022
- Jeddah – Hat Yai: two flights during 20 – 21 July 2022
- Medina – Hat Yai: three flights during 8 – 10 August 2022
- Medina – Bangkok: two flights during 11 – 12 August 2022
Thai Airways & the Hajj Pilgrimage
Thai Airways (THA) is the national flag carrier for Thailand. The airline has provided annually organized charter flights for the Hajj pilgrimage since 2005 in support of the Governments of Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
There are approximately 7.5 million people of Muslim faith in Thailand, representing 12% of the total populace.
Although it is considered a ‘minority faith’ in the country, Thai Airways as the flag carrier is committed to providing these special services.
The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, and represents the most significant religious celebration on the Muslim calendar.
Prior to the pandemic, between 2000-2019 an average of 2.26 million people attended the Pilgrimage annually. Over 1.5 million made the journey from nations outside of Saudi Arabia.