Last flight to carry all Indonesians from China

Last flight to carry all Indonesians from China

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi held a press conference in response to the latest information on the impact of coronavirus outbreak on aviation industry (ANTARA/ Juwita Trisna Rahayu)

Some of them are direct and others are indirect. But (some of) our residents there feel that they do not have to return home now or are still confident so it is up to them. Surely, if after 00.00 a.m. local time Wednesday they are still there and w
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The last flight will carry all Indonesian citizens from China before a temporary ban on flights to and from mainland China begins to take effect Wednesday, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has assured. "To carry 3,000 people, all the existing flights must be enough," he said in a press conference at the Transportation Ministry here Monday.

The flights are either scheduled or unscheduled flights and direct or indirect flights.

"Some of them are direct and others are indirect. But (some of) our residents there feel that they do not have to return home now or are still confident, so it is up to them. Surely, if after 00.00 a.m. local time Wednesday they are still there and want to return home sometime in the future we will think of how to pick them up," he said.

All airline companies including Garuda Indonesia are ready to carry Indonesians back from China, he said.

"They can choose the flight routes they usually take. For instance, Garuda will certainly fly to Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing, while Lion Air and Sriwijaya will serve small cities in south China," he said.

Based on data from the Foreign Ministry, the number of Indonesians originally living in China was around 10 thousand which has now declined to nearly three thousand," he said.

"Why we want to suspend (flights from and to mainland China) as of 00.00 a.m. on Wednesday is to give a chance to Indonesian citizens in China and Chinese citizens (in Indonesia) to return home," he said.

On Sunday, President Joko Widodo held a limited meeting at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airbase in East Jakarta with several cabinet ministers, National Police and Military chiefs following the evacuation of 238 Indonesians and five members of an advance team from China's Hubei Province.

The Indonesian government will have placed a temporary ban on flights to and from Mainland China since 00.00 a.m. local time Wednesday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi remarked during a press conference following the meeting.

All visitors, coming from Mainland China and having lived there for 14 days, were also temporarily banned from entering or making a transit in Indonesia, she noted.

In the interim, the government has also put a stop to the visa-free policy and issuance of visa on arrival for Chinese nationals residing in mainland China. Indonesian nationals are urged to not travel to Mainland China. 

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