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.
The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a 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 2023 will start on Monday, 26th of June and will continue till Saturday, 1st of July 2023. 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 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.
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.
Below, you'll see which airlines fly to King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, and which areas across the world they fly from. 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.
Middle East: Air Arabia*, Airblue, Air Cairo, AlMasria Universal Airlines, EgyptAir*, Emirates*, Etihad Airways*, flyadeal*, flydubai*, FlyEgypt, flynas*, Gulf Air*, Iran Air*, Iraqi Airways, Jazeera Airways, Jordan Aviation, Jubba Airways, Kam Air, Kuwait Airways*, Middle East Airlines, Nesma Airlines*, Nile Air, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways*, Qeshm Air, Royal Jordanian*, SalamAir, Saudia*, SereneAir*, Syrian Air, Yemenia
Europe: Aegean Airlines, AnadoluJet, Pegasus Airlines, Turkish Airlines*, Wizz Air
Asia: Air China*, Air India*, Azerbaijan Airlines*, Batik Air*, Biman Bangladesh Airlines*, Citilink, Garuda Indonesia, IndiGo, Lion Air*, Malaysia Airlines*, Royal Brunei Airlines*, SCAT Airlines*, Scoot*, Somon Air*, SpiceJet*, SriLankan Airlines*, Thai Airways International, Turkmenistan Airlines*, Uzbekistan Airways*, Vistara
Africa: Afriqiyah Airways, Air Algérie, Azman Air*, Badr Airlines, Daallo Airlines*, Eritrean Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Libyan Airlines*, Libyan Wings*, Max Air*, Royal Air Maroc*, Sudan Airways*, Tarco Airlines, Tunisair*
Below, you can see the airlines that fly to Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina, and which regions they fly from.
Middle East: Air Arabia*, Air Cairo, EgyptAir*, Emirates*, Etihad Airways*, flyadeal*, flydubai*, flynas*, Gulf Air*, Iran Air*, Iraqi Airways, Kam Air, Kuwait Airways*, Middle East Airlines, Nesma Airlines*, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways*, Qeshm Air, SalamAir, Saudia*
Europe: AnadoluJet, Pegasus Airlines, Turkish Airlines*
Asia: AirAsia X*, Air China*, Air India*, Air Manas, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China Southern Airlines*, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air*, Malaysia Airlines*, SCAT Airlines*, SpiceJet*, Uzbekistan Airways*
Africa: Air Algérie, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc*, Tunisair*
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.
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 Gov.uk or US Department of States for travel advice on your pilgrimage to Hajj.
For any further information, contact your local Saudi embassy or consulate.
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.