Passengers and Pilgrims face an Overcrowding Chaos at Jeddah International Airport

07-May-2022 344

Recently travelers and passengers who had scheduled flights to depart to their home countries at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport had to face the issue of passenger overcrowding influx and delayed flights.

Jeddah Airport Passenger Overcrowding :

This year, the Umrah Pilgrims from around the world got their chance to perform Umrah after a break of around 2 years. That added to the crowd.The reported incident of overcrowding influx was due to an abundance of pilgrims, and passengers had arrived well before their designated flight departure time as many passengers squatted on traveler lounge floors and passenger parking due to the limited seating capacity of King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Many passengers for the holiday season also added to the overcrowding as overstuffed luggage trolleys and long passenger lines at various checking counters make passage space inside the King Abdulaziz International Airport very limited for passengers.
The Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport official authorities have claimed that the Tawafah groups are to blame for the overcrowding because they had brought the pilgrims to the airport port for their desired flight before departure time to be minimum of 12 hours.
The Saudi Arabia’s airport official administration assured all passengers that they are doing all their best with regard to maintaining order to minimize airport passenger overcrowding. The King Adulaziz international officials also stated that all flights would depart at their scheduled time. Read new Hajj policy by Saudi Arabia.

Passenger Overcrowding Reason:

The King Abdulaziz International Airport officials have stated that “the reason for the pilgrims overcrowding is lacking the fulfilling of commitment from operating Haj companies concerning their designated flight schedules.
The Ministry of Umrah and Hajj issued warnings to those concerned companies whose pilgrims arrived 12 hours before their designated flight departure time while also vowing to issue heavy fines on those companies who are violating their laws along with banning them from operation for the whole year. 

Bear in mind that this year, Saudi Govt has also decided to open Hajj Packages after 2 years of lockdown. So a huge number of Hajj pilgrims are also expected later this year resulting in more or less similar crowds at the airport.

Jeddah Overcrowding Incident Investigation:

Following the incident, The Saudi Arabia transport authority started an investigation regarding the passenger overcrowding incident at King Abdulaziz International Airport. The incident took place over the Eid holidays as various passengers filed complaints of closed entry gates, no water availability, non-functional baggage belts, delayed flights, terminals overcrowding, lost baggage, and delayed flights due to the abundence of people present at the Jeddah Airport.
The Minister Mr. Al-Jasser of Saudia Arabia has organized an investigation committee which is being headed by the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation to investigate and understand the reasons behind the incident and come up with solutions and recommendations to avoid the problem in the future. 
The new King Abdulaziz International airport Jeddah had started operation in 2019 with the ability to facilitate 30 million international and local passengers in a year, while upgrades are underway to accommodate 30 million international and local passengers by the year 2035.

PIA Launching Special Flights to bring back Pilgrims Home:

After securing approval from Saudi Arabian flight authority following the recent passenger crowding influx incident, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to launch special flights using Airbus 320 planes from Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi to secure the return of 400 pilgrim passengers to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia.
The special flight operation is being carried out after the overcrowding passenger influx concerning various Umrah passengers from all over the world after the Saudi kingdom eased travel restrictions by removing Covid restrictions implacable. 
The resulting overcrowding influx incident caused delays among all 9 Jeddah Airport terminals, after which PIA sought permission from Saudi Arabia Civil Aviation General Authority to fly additional four flights. 
The Pakistan passengers who faced a crowding influx at Jeddah airport were shifted to hotels, while those pilgrims who had just landed were transported to Madinah through transport coasters. 

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