Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Directorate General of Air Transportation of the Transportation Ministry has discussed the technical procedures for the departure and return of Indonesian pilgrims with other stakeholders to ensure an orderly, safe, and smooth Hajj.

According to a statement received on Friday, the ministry and related stakeholders held a coordination meeting on the preparations for the implementation of the air transportation services for 2023 Hajj pilgrimage in Bogor, West Java, on Thursday (May 11, 2023).

The Head of the Sub-Directorate for Unscheduled Commercial Flights as well as Non-Commercial Air Transport at the ministry, Abdul Haris, informed that pilgrims will leave for Saudi Arabia through 13 airports.

In addition to the 13 airports, he said that there would be 6 transit airports that would serve the departure and return flights of Hajj pilgrims from their embarkations of origin to the 13 airports.

He stated that his party will supervise the flight preparations, departure, and return of the pilgrims at each airport by assigning a number of inspection officers from the related technical directorates of the ministry and the airport authority offices.

"The inspection officers will be tasked with supervising the implementation of Hajj air transport, so that the implementation of Hajj pilgrimage can run smoothly in accordance with the regulations," the official said.

He informed that the pilgrims would leave for Saudi Arabia on Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Saudi Arabian flag carrier Saudia using Boeing 777-300, Boeing 747-400, and Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

A total of 203,320 Indonesian pilgrims as well as 2,656 officers will leave for the pilgrimage in 537 flight groups.

Garuda Indonesia will serve 287 flight groups, while Saudi Arabian Airlines will serve 250 flight groups.

Haris said that an inspection of the pilgrims’ health, luggage, and travel documents will be carried out at their respective Hajj dormitories.

The inspection would be conducted by officers from the Health Quarantine Center (BBKS), the Customs and Excise office, as well as the Immigration Office, respectively, he informed.

However, some pilgrims from West Java province who are staying at Indramayu Hajj Dormitory would only have health and luggage inspection at the dormitory, while their travel documents would be checked at Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, due to limited facilities at the dormitory.

According to the Transportation Ministry, the first batch of the Hajj pilgrimage flight groups will leave for Medina, Saudi Arabia, from May 24 to June 7, 2023.

Meanwhile, the second batch of the flight groups would leave for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from June 8 to 21.

Furthermore, the first batch of the flight groups would return to Indonesia from Jeddah from July 4 to 18, and the second one would return from Medina from July 19 to August 2.

Related news: Hope additional Hajj quota can expedite queues: VP
Related news: Prospective Hajj pilgrims should be wary of MERS-CoV: Ministry

Translator: Benardy Ferdiansyah, Uyu Liman
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023