Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has assured that this year's Hajj flights will offer smooth, safe, and comfortable travel and all facilities at embarkation points would be kept ready to serve Hajj pilgrims.

During a visit to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, at 8:15 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the minister also greeted Hajj pilgrims leaving for Saudi Arabia.

"Hajj pilgrimage is Allah SWT's calling because not everyone can perform it. We hope Hajj pilgrims will be enthusiastic in performing Hajj rituals and always be healthy," Sumadi said, according to a statement received here.

All airport facilities, aircraft, and stand-by personnel are ready to serve Hajj pilgrims optimally, he added.

"For the elderly pilgrims, we are also coordinating with the Religious Affairs Ministry to prepare elderly-friendly services to ensure they can access airport facilities more easily," the minister informed.

The ministry has prepared 13 international airports for Hajj embarkation this year, including Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, which will carry out Hajj departures for the first time.

The other airports include Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport in Aceh, Kualanamu Airport in North Sumatra, Minangkabau Airport in West Sumatra, Hang Nadim Airport in Riau Islands, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in South Sumatra, and Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Adi Sumarmo Airport in Central Java, Juanda Airport in East Java, Syamsudin Noor Airport in South Kalimantan, Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport in East Kalimantan, Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in South Sulawesi, and Lombok Airport in West Nusa Tenggara are also ready to cater to Hajj departures.

The authority has also prepared six intermediary airports for Hajj departures in Jambi, Riau, Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung, Lampung, and Gorontalo.

According to the Religious Affairs Ministry’s timetable, the first phase of Hajj pilgrims' departures from Indonesia to Medina will take place from May 24 to June 7, 2023, while the second phase of departures to Jeddah will take place from June 8–21.

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Translator: Benardy F, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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