By Sade Williams
Medview Airline Chief Executive Officer, Muneer Bankole , yesterday picked up the gauntlet in the allocation of pilgrims to foreign carriers, saying that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) should give priority to indigenous airlines over their foreign counterparts to create employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Bankole’s call is coming on heels of NAHCON awarding the lion share of the pilgrims to be airlifted to foreign operators over the years.
The CEO made the call in Abuja during the inauguration of the a 28-member Air Carriers Screening Committee for the 2018 Hajj operations.
He commended the commission for the transparency and accountability it has displayed in the handling, screening and selection of air carriers since its inception in 2006.
The screening committee, which is headed by NAHCON Commissioner of Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Moddibo has its membership drawn from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Meteorologica Agency (NIMET}, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB} and the Nigerian Custom Service.
Inaugurating the Committee, the Acting Chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Yusuf Adebayo charged them to handle the assignment diligently and with the fear of Allah.
The Acting Chairman further advised them to select qualified and competent air carriers with viable capacity that would effectively transport Nigerians pilgrims to and from the Holy Land.
Medview Airline and Medview International Travel and Cargo Ltd are among the eight airlines that applied to participate in the airlift of pilgrims for the 2018 Hajj