By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 29 August 2016:
The first plane carrying Libyan pilgrims to perform the Haj this year in Mecca left last night from Labraq airport. Some 250 were on board the plane for Jeddah. Another two aircraft with a further 250 each were due to leave today, Monday; another from Labraq and one from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.
Haj flights are also planned over the next few days from Misrata, Zintan and Tamenhint.
Some 5,600 Libyans were selected earlier this year to undertake the pilgrimage. Under the strict rules applied by the Saudi Arabian authorities, the quota for pilgrims from Muslim countries or countries where there is a sizable Muslim community is 1 per 1,000 of the population. That would theoretically give Libya over 7,000 pilgrims this year, but the number has been reduced overall because of continuing expansion work to the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Haj this year is due to start on Friday 9 September and end on 14 September. Eid Al-Adha, the third day of Haj, is expected to be on 11 September, but this will depend on the sighting in Saudi Arabia of the new moon for the beginning of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah.