Air India on Tuesday withdrew its ban restricting pilgrims from carrying Zamzam or holy water from Mecca on its flights and said passengers would only be required to adhere to the baggage limit laid down by the airline.
Last week, the airline had issued a circular barring passengers from carrying Zamzam on its Jeddah-Hyderabad-Mumbai and Jeddah –Cochin flights till September 15, which are commercial flights operated by the airline apart from the chartered flights it operates on a subsidy by the Centre. The water from the Zamzam well in Mecca is considered holy by Muslims.
“Baggage allowance on all commercial flights operating out of Saudi Arabia [UAE] is uniformly 40 kg. Special 5 kg allowance is given to those passengers who may carry Zamzam [holy water]. This special allowance can’t be converted into baggage allowance,” Air India said in a statement.
An airline official added that the old circular was being withdrawn and that it was issued due to some “confusion.”
The airline operates two commercial flights and seven chartered flights to Jeddah every day during Haj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The chartered outbound flights this year are operating between July 4 and August 5 and the return flights are scheduled between August 16 and September 14.