Egyptian pilgrims stuck in Saudi Arabian airport

Ahram Online, Monday 29 Aug 2011

Tensions increase at both Cairo and Jeddah airports, as a shortage of flights holds up thousands of pilgrims

The Egyptian consulate in Saudi Arabia is currently working with the Saudi foreign ministry to bring back the Egyptian pilgrims stuck at Jeddah airport.

Officials say that it is high season because of the Omra, the smaller pilgrimage to Mecca usually performed during Ramadan. Officials claim that pilgrims stuck for hours in Jeddah airport had not confirmed their bookings, and that both Saudi Arabia and Egypt were working on increasing the number of flights between Jeddah and Cairo airports to ease the backlog.

Cairo airport security has requested support from the military police to secure the arrival hall, upon receiving flights from Saudi Arabia.

Security officials have reported escalating tensions between Egyptian passengers and Saudi airline officials due to irregular flight times. Several fights have occurred as many passengers complain about losing their luggage.   

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