Air India, the country’s national air carrier has temporarily banned the carrying of Zamzam water cans on two of its narrow-bodied aircraft with immediate effect.
The ban will last until September 15 when Hajj flights come to an end.
In an advisory issued to travel agents on July 4, Air India’s Jeddah sales team said Zamzam cans will not be allowed on flights AI966 (Jeddah/Hyderabad/Mumbai) and AI964 (Jeddah Cochin) “due to change of aircraft and limitation of seats.”
“You are requested to disseminate this information to all your colleagues and passengers to avoid any last-minute inconvenience at the airport,” said the advisory.
A report in Khaleej Times noted that the air carrier has stopped allowing passengers to carry Zamzam only on its narrow-bodied aircraft, however, passengers can continue carrying Zamzam on its wide-body aircraft travelling in this sector.
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.