JEDDAH, 27 April 2004 — Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran’s Haj and Umrah Organization signed an agreement on Saturday to carry nearly 250,000 Umrah pilgrims this season.
According to the agreement signed by Director General Khaled Ben-Bakr and Ahmed Zarhani, Iran’s assistant Islamic affairs minister, the airline will carry the pilgrims from 14 cities in Iran to Madinah and fly them back from Jeddah.
“The agreement is an expression of the growing relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Ben-Bakr said.
He said from June 1 Saudia will operate a non-stop scheduled flight from Dammam to Mashad twice weekly.
Last year, the airline carried more than 900,000 Haj pilgrims on 3,200 flights to 68 stations — 17 each in Asia and Africa, 21 in the Middle East and Gulf and 13 in Europe and America.