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After Criticism, Air India Apologises For Zamzam ‘Ban’, Says Hajj Pilgrims Can Carry Water Within Baggage Limit

After Hajj pilgrims expressed their displeasure over Air India’s decision to ban Zamzam water on its narrow-body aircraft, the country’s national air carrier has apologised and put out a clarification on their Twitter handle.

Air India said, “With reference to instructions regarding non-carriage of Zamzam cans, on AI966 and AI964, we wish to clarify that passengers are allowed to carry Zamzam cans within their permissible baggage allowance. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.”

On July 4, the sales team of Air India’s Jeddah office had issued an advisory to all travel agents stating that till September 15, due to change of aircraft and limitation of seats, Zamzam cans will not be allowed on flight Nos. AI966 (Jeddah-Hyderabad-Mumbai) and AI964 (Jeddah-Cochin).

The airline’s decision did not go well with its Muslim passengers, who called for its boycott.

Zamzam is the name of a famous well in Makkah, which is thirty-eight cubits away from the Kaaba. During the annual Hajj which begins on August 9, millions of Muslims from around the world, including India gather in Makkah, to take part in the pilgrimage, which follows the actions of the Prophet Muhammad. Drinking the Zamzam water is one of the acts Muslims observe, during the pilgrimage, and many take the water back home for family and friends.

Makkah’s National Water Company (NWC), the main operator of the King Abdullah Project for Zamzam water supplies pilgrims with the holy water in five-litre cans, which the pilgrims take home.

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