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Sunday, 26 May 2024 00:00

Ministry Presses Garuda Indonesia to Improve Hajj Flight Services

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Hajj pilgrims boarding a Garuda Indonesia aircraft that will transport them to Saudi Arabia in the Adi Soemarmo Airport, Surakarta, Central Java, Thursday (May 16, 2024). Photo by: ANTARA/Harianto/nbl.






VOINews, JakartaThe Transportation Ministry urged flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to improve its Hajj flight services following flight delays and issues that disrupted Hajj departures from several embarkation points.

As reported by Antara,The ministry's Director General of Air Transport has reprimanded the airlines in a letter dated May 17, 2024. It highlighted Garuda's failure to operate some Hajj flights due to technical issues as proof that the airline is underprepared.

"We heard complaints from residents and other stakeholders concerning Garuda Indonesia's (Hajj flights) service. We reprimanded the airlines and urged them to carry out improvements," Minister Budi Karya Sumadi noted as per the statement here on Saturday.

Garuda Indonesia should make the 2024 Hajj flight services their main priority for the time being, the minister remarked.

The ministry also instructed the flag carrier to carry out improvements to ensure the smoothness of their Hajj flight services and that the last departures could be done in a timely manner by June 10, 2024.

"We urge Garuda Indonesia to devise a mitigation plan and promptly report delay in the recovery actions they carried out for the 2024 Indonesia Hajj flight transport to the Directorate General of Air Transport," the minister stated.

The letter also highlighted the non-fatal Garuda Indonesia flight 1105 incident in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on May 15, 2024, when the Boeing 747-400 aircraft was forced to return to base (RTB) due to an issue in one of its engines upon takeoff.

To prevent further disruption in Hajj flights, the ministry called on Garuda Indonesia to ensure its aircraft's maintenance and operational readiness and improve its monitoring of the fleet's airworthiness.

"The coordination between Garuda Indonesia and the owner of charted airplanes they operate should also be improved," Sumadi emphasized.

In response to complaints about Garuda's Hajj flight performance, President Director Irfan Setiaputra earlier affirmed that his side is committed to improving its performance and addressing all issues that might disrupt flights.

"We will continue improving and prioritizing the safety and comfort of Hajj pilgrims," Setiaputra stated in his short message on Friday (May 24).//Antara

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