Indonesian pilgrims moved from Qatar airways to other airlines

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A total of 65 Indonesian minor hajj (umroh) pilgrims have been moved from Qatar Airways to other airlines, as Qatar airlines has been banned from using the airspace of several countries in the Middle East.

Several Middle East countries have banned Qatar Airways from using their airspace after they severed diplomatic ties with Qatar which they alleged to have supported terrorist groups.

Air Transportation Director of the Transportation Ministry Maria Kristi Endah Murni stated when contacted by ANTARA on Tuesday that 20 pilgrims were moved to Saudi Airlines on Monday night and 45 others to Garuda Indonesia on Tuesday morning.

"We are giving priority to protecting our pilgrims who are flying through Doha, and so far, all have been handled well," Murni noted.

She said that a total of 200 umroh pilgrims have obtained visa to fly to Saudi Arabia through Doha.

"We will seek passenger data every day. Qatar has also offered two choices in the form of a full refund or transfer of the passengers to other airlines," she remarked.

Murni pointed out that her side has currently dispatched an inspector to the field to take anticipatory steps in case there are passengers who have not been handled.

She also vowed to continue monitoring connecting flights from Qatar to other countries. Currently, four countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates -- have banned flights from Qatar.

"For future flights, passenger data is still being studied. Qatar does not yet know when the flight ban will end," Murni explained.

The four Middle East countries imposed the flight ban after they severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The Indonesian government has called on the international society to promote dialog and reconciliation amid the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

"Indonesia expects all parties to promote dialog and reconciliation to solve this problem," spokesperson of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry Arrmanatha Nasir noted in a message received here on Monday.

Nasir urged all countries to respect the principles of international relations, such as respecting the sovereignty of each country and not interfering in others domestic affairs.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, thereby widening the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

The four states announced the closure of transportation ties with Qatar and gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.

Yemen, Libyas eastern-based government, and the Maldives have also joined in cutting their ties with Qatar.

Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of backing militant groups and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatars influential state-owned satellite channel Al Jazeera.

"Indonesia has called on all parties to unite in combating terrorism and contributing to maintaining regional and global peace and stability," Nasir noted.(*)