RAF helps Afghan pilgrims get to Mecca
The Royal Air Force has stepped in to help the many Afghans who wish to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, flying out large numbers to Saudi Arabia.
Several RAF Hercules transport aircraft arrive each day at Kabul, delivering personnel, equipment and supplies for the International Security Assistance Force.
These then return to base largely empty.
The UK, with the agreement and full support of the Afghan and Saudi Arabian governments, has offered to use the spare capacity on these return flights to make seats available to carry some of the Hajj pilgrims.
There are very many Afghans who wish to make the pilgrimage to Mecca but demand is high as the Afghan Interim Authority attempts to restore commercial aviation in the country.