(JollofNews) – The Gambia International Airline (GIA) has announced the departure of over 300 would-be pilgrims in the first flight to the holy land of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia at 4am local time on Sunday.
According to GIA, Sunday’s flight marks the beginning of transporting some 1,369 pilgrims registered with the airline, and that other trips will subsequently follow in the next few days.
The pilgrims who are poised to fulfill the fifth pillar of the Islam, (Hajj) will join millions of pilgrims from other parts of the world converging in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to perform religious rituals which is meant to cleanse them of their sins.
Over 90 percent of the Gambian population is Muslim.
Since its founding in 1996 The Gambia International Airlines has been the national carrier providing ground handling services at the Banjul International Airport as well as transporting Gambian pilgrims annually to Saudi Arabia for the hajj.