At least 104,172 Indonesian pilgrims will be transported by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia in 287 flight groups for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
“This year, Garuda Indonesia has again been entrusted with transporting regular Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia until their return to the country (Indonesia),” Director General of Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Hilman Latief said in a written statement received on Thursday.
According to Latief, the 104,172 regular Hajj pilgrims will embark from nine points: Aceh, Medan, Padang, Jakarta-Pondok Gede, Solo, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Makassar, and Lombok.
He asked Garuda Indonesia to provide the best services, especially because, this year, 30 percent of the pilgrims will be aged 65 years and above.
He called for the provision of priority services to older adults and people with disabilities, starting from when they board the plane to the time they disembark at the airport.
“We ask that PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk’s ground and air officers be more friendly and responsive in providing services to Indonesian pilgrims this year. Serve them like serving our own parents,” he said.
Meanwhile,President Director of Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra expressed gratitude for the trust given by the government to the carrier as a partner in transporting Hajj pilgrims.
He informed that his side has prepared 14 Boeing 777 and Airbus 300 planes to take regular Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from Indonesia and back.
Earlier, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Saudia Airlines inked a cooperation agreement on the transportation of Indonesian pilgrims for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 17, 2023.
Under the cooperation, Saudia Airlines will transport 101,809 Indonesian Hajj pilgrims from 5 embarkation points: Batam, Palembang, Jakarta, Kertajati, and Surabaya.
This year, at least 221 thousand Hajj pilgrims from Indonesia will join the Hajj pilgrimage. Of the figure, 203,320 will be regular Hajj pilgrims, and 17,680 will be special Hajj pilgrims.
Source : ANTARA