Jakarta (ANTARA) - Garuda Indonesia on Tuesday restarted Umrah flights from Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, for Indonesian pilgrims from East Java and surrounding regions.

"On the first flight of Umrah from Surabaya, Garuda Indonesia transports at least 220 prospective Umrah pilgrims through a direct flight without transit of the Surabaya-Madinah route," Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.

Garuda Indonesia had restarted Umrah flights through Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Tangerang in January 2022.

Umrah flights from Surabaya will be operated once every two weeks. The airline has deployed its Airbus A330-300 fleet with a capacity of 24 business class seats and 263 economy class seats for the route.

In the near future, Garuda Indonesia will continue to maximize opportunities to build a direct Umrah flight network from other departure points.

According to Setiaputra, the re-operation of Umrah flights from Surabaya is one form of Garuda Indonesia's commitment to serving religious trips.

In addition, the route re-opening is expected to encourage the acceleration of economic recovery in East Java, especially for Umrah travel service providers.

"This Umrah flight service is an important momentum for our ongoing efforts for optimizing the Umrah flight market through the expansion of the Umrah flight network in various major Indonesian cities," Setiaputra said.

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Garuda Indonesia is currently operating at least nine flights to the Holy Land from two major cities, Jakarta and Surabaya, he added.

Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa welcomed the resumption of Garuda Indonesia's Umrah flights from Surabaya.

"We really hope an increase in the number of Umrah flight schedules from airlines such as from Garuda Indonesia (that fly) to Jeddah and Medina, because this (Umrah) worship opportunity is hugely demanded by the communities, especially ahead of Ramadan," Parawansa said.

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Translator: Adimas P, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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