The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia airlifted Gambia’s president using its government’s Boeing 737-7FG plane for the small West African nation’s leader to travel for the Hajj.
President Barrow’s air cost and stay in the Middle East nation are being covered for by the Saudi government, a senior official confirmed.
Barrow is accompanied by a high powered delegation including his foreign affairs minister, Ousainou Darboe and at least 20 others.
There were concerns about the cost of travel for the new leader, who inherited a broken economy and a near empty treasury.
It appeared Saturday that Barrow did not charter a special flight for him, his spouses and officials. He boarded a plane with registration HZ-MF1 and with the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” insignia inscribed.
Barrow started the rituals of the Hajj and observed prayers at the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the mosque of the Prophet of Islam. He will be ending the Hajj in Mecca and will have meetings on the sidelines before returning to Banjul.