West Java Pilgrims Will Depart from Kertajati Airport This Year
“We hope that (the decision) would reduce the (airport) activities at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport,” Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said after a Coordination Meeting on Hajj and Umrah which included Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Religious Affairs, at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs office, Jakarta, Friday (10/5).
The pilgrims who will depart from Kertajati Airport are from these following cities of eastern West Java: Majalengka, Subang, Indramayu, Cirebon, Tasikmalaya, and Ciamis.
The Minister stated that about 400 flights will depart and land in Kertajati Airport this year. The Hajj and Umrah quotas in the eastern West Java are respectively around 4,000 and 500,000 pilgrims. The Kertajati Umrah flight will begin after Eid al-Fitr with the same flight fare as Jeddah-Soekarno-Hatta route.
In the meantime, Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said that the cooperation with West Java Provincial Government is needed for the availability of accommodation services that can function like a Hajj dormitory.
In addition to places to rest before departing to Saudi Arabia, the assigned places should be used for guiding process of Hajj rituals, health checking, living-cost distribution, as well as guiding process of the Heads of Team and the Heads of Group.
“Those places are needed because currently, there is no Hajj dormitory around Kertajati Airport. West Java Governance is expected to prepare places that serve those functions, as soon as possible,” Minister of Religious Affairs said.
The preparations related to the flight route changes from Soekarno-Hatta Airport to Kertajati Airport are underway. Ministry of Religious Affairs encouraged Ministry of Transportation to immediately complete the licensing process for the Kertajati Airport usage.
“Both Garuda and Saudia Airlines are also expected to be willing to carry West Java pilgrims from Kertajati Airport to Saudi Arabia,” Lukman Hakim said.
“In the near future, we will discuss the matter with Saudi Arabia’s GACA (General Authority of Civil Aviation) regarding the Hajj flights from Kertajati Airport to Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The Minister reported the decision to the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia Esam A. Abid Althagafi, at the Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Jakarta, Friday (10/5).
“We ask for support (of the Saudi Arabia Government) to grant landing permits at Medina and Jeddah airports. This is because (the flights) will be outside of the 13 existing embarkations,” he said.
Responding to the matter, Esam A. Abid Althagafi promised to communicate with Saudi Arabia’s GACA. “We will communicate Indonesia’s plan to open the 14th embarkation in this 1440 Hijri session,” Esam said. (Minister of Transportation PR/Minister of Religious Affairs PR/ES)
Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Edited by : Ridwan Ibadurrohman, Yuyu Mulyani