Saudi Arabia: New Initiative to Facilitate Pilgrims’ Departure
The Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) launched the pilot stage of an initiative which aims to facilitate completion of travel procedures for pilgrims from their residences before arriving at the airport.
GACA started an experimental implementation of the initiative “Eyab” this year aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia.
Through the initiative, GACA wants to improve and enrich pilgrims traveling experience throughout the Kingdom’s airports, and furthermore, to facilitate their travel procedures by reducing the waiting period in each of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
Eyab offers electronic services specialized in security inspection of baggage and transport to the airport before their departure. It also provides the pilgrim with the possibility to issue the boarding pass from their residence and check-in their departure automatically before arrival at the airport, through specialized electronic routes.
The Authority aims to raise the standard of services provided to the pilgrims and reflect the Saudi culture and civilization. It will also facilitate completion of travel procedures so that the pilgrims return to their respective countries with ease and comfort.
GACA Spokesman Ibrahim al-Rwosa said that King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah faces great challenges during the Hajj season to provide special services to the pilgrims during their departure.
He explained that the most important issue was to address the waiting time to finalize the procedures and baggage claim. Eyab, launched in the pilot phase, will serve 30,000 pilgrims, 14,000 of which are from Jeddah and 16,000 from Madinah.
Rwosa told to Asharq Al-Awsat that the initiative aims to ensure the smooth work, organize luggage shipping, and ensure the speedy departure of pilgrims pointing out that this initiative is not temporary and will include all pilgrims in the coming period.