Air India backtracks on Zam Zam decision


09 July 2019| 06 Dhul Qadha 1440| Gulf News

Air India has backtracked on its decision to ban Zam zam cans on two of its flights.

In an advisory issued to travel agents on July 4, Air India’s Jeddah sales team had said Zam zam cans will not be allowed on flights AI966 (Jeddah/Hyderabad/Mumbai) and AI964 (Jeddah Cochin) “due to change of aircraft and seat limitation”.

However on Tuesday, the airline issued a statement on Twitter saying AI966 and AI964 passengers will be allowed to carry Zam zam cans within their permissible baggage allowance.

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

The airline’s decision to ban zam zam had not gone down well with Hujjaj. Some of them even questioned Air India’s wisdom.

“How much space could a small water bottle possibly occupy,” an Indian man from Mumbai was quoted as saying in a Gulf News report on July 7.

Imposed with immediate effect, the ban was supposed to run until September 15 when the last batch of Indian Hujjaj  fly back to their home country with the holy water.

Travel agents were requested to inform passengers about the restrictions to “avoid any last minute inconvenience at the airport”.

Faiz Mohammad who will be going for the annual Islamic pilgrimage from Hyderabad later this month says he’s glad that the airline has rescinded its decision. “Zam zam water has a special significance for Muslims. Everybody who goes for Hajj carries it back home for friends and relatives.”

India’s Hajj committee said only official Zam zam cans are allowed onboard. According to Makkah’s National Water Company (NWC), he holy water will be supplied in five litre cans instead of 10 litre canisters used previously.