No Zamzam hassle for Indians
Indian pilgrims will no longer be troubled by having to pack cans of Zamzam water into their luggage when returning home after completing their Haj.
As part of the arrangement with the Haj Committee of India, Saudi Arabian Airlines will carry these cans on their return flights after disembarking pilgrims at Jeddah airport’s Haj Terminal.
The specially packaged Zamzam water cans, provided by the government-run Zamzam Packaging Factory in Kudai, Makkah, will be stored at various points in India to be delivered to the pilgrims once they return from Saudi Arabia after the pilgrimage. Each pilgrim will get one 5-liter container.
The arrangement was made to ease the difficulties of returning pilgrims who already have a great deal of luggage. Also, this method will be easier for airlines to manage the load on the return journey.
The arrangement was put into place last year. However, at that time, only Saudi Arabian Airlines was able to implement it. This year, Air India too is expected to follow the same procedure.
Of the 136,020 Indian pilgrims arriving this year, 100,020 would be coming through the Haj Committee of India. Saudi Arabian Airlines will carry 49,230 while Air India will transport 50,790 from 21 embarkation points. The remaining 36,000 pilgrims will come through private tour operators.
Indian Consul General B.S. Mubarak said negotiations were in progress with Air India about transporting Zamzam containers on return flights, following the Saudia model.
“There are certain issues back home in India, but we are very optimistic that this will be sorted out, and Air India too will follow the Saudia pattern,” he told Arab News on Thursday.
Zamzam water is among the most prized items taken home by all returning pilgrims. Each pilgrim fills little bottles with the holy water and these are then given to relatives and friends as a form of gratitude and celebration.
Zamzam water is a sign of God’s miraculous powers and as such, it is valued and revered by Muslims worldwide.
Another service that Indian pilgrims enjoy is known as “City Check-In” or “Remote Check-In.”