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If you're travelling for Hajj this summer, Alternative Airlines will provide you with the best choice of airlines and routes, no matter what part of the world you are flying from.

What is Hajj?

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The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory once in a lifetime pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca, provided they are physically fit and financially capable. It is performed from the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah to the 13th day of the same Islamic Holy month. Hajj 2022 will start on Thursday, 7th of July and will continue till Tuesday, 12th of July 2022. This is an unconfirmed date as the actual date is subject to change on the sighting of the moon of Dhul Hijjah.

There are many rituals performed in Hajj and these may be completed over the course of the 5 days. Muslims see Hajj as a chance to think about their lives, connect with God and have all their sins wiped clean. Hajj is a spiritual and physical purification of oneself and is performed by millions of Muslims each year.

During Hajj, pilgrims wear a special kind of unified and simple form of clothing consisting of two white sheets called the ihram.

Most people travelling for Hajj will need to acquire a visa. Read more below.

How to get to Hajj

The closest airport to Mecca is King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah. During Hajj, many airlines operate additional services to Jeddah.

The airport has three terminals. The North Terminal is used for international flights and Umrah flights, the South Terminal is used for domestic flights, and the Hajj Terminal is used exclusively for Hajj. The Hajj terminal mainly operates charter flights, however, there are some other passenger services scheduled as well.

International flights (both Hajj and Umrah), as well as domestic flights, can be taken to and from the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Medina.

Airlines that fly to Hajj

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Below is a table of airlines that fly to King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah. Please note, the airlines below that offer additional Hajj services are outlined with an asterisk. Also, some airlines may only offer these services flying from a certain destination.

Afriqiyah Airways Aegean Airlines Air India* Air China*
Atlasglobal* Biman Bangladesh Airlines* British Airways Citilink
EgyptAir Emirates Etihad Airways* Flyadeal
FlyBosnia Flydubai Flynas Gulf Air
Garuda Indonesia* Iran Air** Jubba Airways*
Kenya Airways Kuwait Airways Lion Air Lufthansa
Malaysia Airlines* Nile Air Oman Air Qatar Airways
Pakistan International Airlines* Royal Brunei Airlines Royal Air Maroc* Royal Jordanian Air
Saudia Scoot SriLankan Airlines Tunisair
Thai Airways International* Turkish Airlines* Uzbekistan Airways UTAir Aviation*

Do I need a visa for travel to Saudi Arabia during Hajj?

Visas are free for those travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Visas are given out from the middle of Shawwāl to the 25th Dhual-Qa’dah. To apply for a visa you must fill out an application form. Application forms are available to collect from your nearest Saudi embassy or consulate.

Hajj Visa Requirements

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  • Applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from when you travel.
  • Women travelling to Hajj must travel with a Mahram and proof of this must be submitted with their visa application form.
  • On his application form, the Mahram must include complete information on any spouse, child, or relative that he is travelling with.
  • Applicants must submit a recent photograph with dimensions of 35mm x 45mm (passport size) along with their application.
  • Applicants that are over 15 years old must present proof that they have had meningitis and ACYW135 vaccinations.
  • Applicants under 15 years old, they must submit proof of vaccinations for meningitis and polio.
  • Applicants must have a non-refundable roundtrip ticket to Saudi Arabia with confirmed reservations.
  • Applicants must have a Saudi identification card and wristband for Hajj.
  • Applicants must have a valid permit to perform Hajj.
  • Travellers should take with them documentation such as their travel Itinerary and hotel booking references.

Please visit our travel documents page to find out more about the powers of different types of travel documents, and find out whether you are required to have a passport to fly. You can also view or US Department of States for travel advice on your pilgrimage to Hajj.

For any further information, contact your local Saudi embassy or consulate.

Hajj Packing List

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  • Islamic Materials - Hajj guide / Islamic Books, Dua (supplication) Books, Pocket Quran, Pocket Prayermat, Prayer Beads, Wudu Mate.
  • Clothing/General Accessories - Unstiched Ihram, Safety Pins for Ihram, Comfortable Loose Clothing, Prayer Hat, Pyjamas, Flip Flops, Sunglasses, Travel Pouch, String bag, Umbrella, Inflatable Pillow, Sleeping Bag, Mini-Electric Fan, Universal Travel Adapter, Saudi Sim Card, Notebook and Pen.
  • Toiletries - Tissues, Chapstick, Toothbrush/Miswaak, fragrant free Toothpaste, Deodorant, Suncream, Soap, Shampoo and Wet Wipes.
  • Medication - General Prescribed Medication, Antibiotics, Cough and Cold medicine, Mini First-Aid Pack.

The list above is a comprehensive list of items to take with you on your journey. Please don't feel obliged to take everything on this list, rather take those items that you feel are necessary. If you would like to travel light, then you can do so as many of these items can be bought from nearby shops in Mecca and Medina.