"Garuda will be ready if the government urges it to evacuate Indonesians from other cities in China," Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra stated following a working meeting between the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Transportation Ministry and the Public Works and Housing Ministry in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He noted that Garuda cannot fly to Hubei since it does not hold a permit to serve the flight route.
"We have no flight route to Hubei," he stated.
He echoed Garuda’s preparedness to transport Indonesians, currently under observation in Natuna District after their evacuation from Hubei on the weekend to their hometowns across Indonesia.
However, he stated that Garuda had yet to receive directives from the government to transport the Indonesians to their hometowns.
The runway in Natuna poses one of the obstacles for Garuda's wide-bodied aircraft to transport the Indonesians to their hometowns, he stated.
"We have not discussed the transportation (of Indonesians) to their hometowns from Natuna. However, once again we are ready. We have a flight route to Batam," he remarked.
The Indonesian government had brought 238 Indonesians home from Hubei Province, China. They were airlifted using a chartered aircraft and arrived in Batam City, Riau Islands Province, on Sunday, February 2. On the same day, they were all flown to Natuna and quarantined.
Before their departure, the health of these 238 Indonesian evacuees had been thoroughly examined by the Chinese authorities before being allowed to board the aircraft.
The Chinese health authorities confirmed that they were all in good health and can be airlifted, according to Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto. Seven other Indonesians did not join the evacuation.
Four of the seven were offered the opportunity to join the emergency evacuation but refused since they felt more comfortable there, while three others failed the health examinations by Chinese authorities, Putranto added.
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