(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Stakeholders from the transportation sector have recently met with the Awqaf Ministry to discuss its consideration to promote air travel for the Hajj and umra pilgrimages.
During the meeting with stakeholders, the Awqaf Ministry said it would study promoting air travel for the greater and lesser pilgrimages to Mecca in an effort to avoid accidents. However, stakeholders said that current safety measures for bus travel are effective, and pointed to what they claimed was a 'lack of serious accidents'.
There are several measures to ensure safety and avoid road accidents, Kamal Diab, spokesperson of the Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA), told The Jordan Times.
Diab added that the number of accidents that happen during the Hajj and umra pilgrimages is similar to those which happen during tourist and school trips.
Between September 1, 2018 and January 31 of this year, 70,000 people made the umra trip to Mecca by bus, Diab said, adding that only one accident took place resulting in the deaths of two pilgrims.
The meeting, which was headed by Awqaf Minister Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal, covered several issues related to organising Hajj and umra trips.
Shafiq Hayek, president of the Tourist Transport Association, said that 80 per cent of last season's pilgrims were carried by tourist coaches, and there were no serious accidents.
Abla Wahsh, spokesperson for the Land Transport Regulatory Commission, added that among the commission's main responsibilities is ensuring the safety of passengers through vehicle inspections of vehicles' readiness to carry out trips, which decreases the likelihood of accidents.
The sector creates job opportunities for many Jordanians, Diab said, adding that many people would not be able to afford doing pilgrimages by air as the price of taking a plane is up to JD300 more than taking a bus.