Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi discussed efforts to improve connectivity and tourism, including Umrah and Hajj flights, with Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Indonesia Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Amudi.

"Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have established good relations for a long time. At this meeting, I met the ambassador to discuss opportunities to improve transportation services for Umrah and Hajj," Sumadi said in his statement received here on Sunday.

Sumadi, accompanied by the ministry's secretary general, Novie Riyanto, and director general of air transportation, M Kristi Endah Murni, met with Ambassador Al-Amudi on Friday (July 21) evening.

The minister said the potential to improve flight services for Umrah and Hajj is increasingly wide open after the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said this momentum of recovery must be used optimally to restore the national aviation industry.

"Recently, we have considered Kertajati Airport (in Majalengka District) to serve Umrah and Hajj flights, which can be realized. Furthermore, we will aim for Dhoho Airport in Kediri to open Umrah flights after the airport is officially operated next year," he said.

In addition to discussing Umrah and Hajj flights, they also talked about efforts to increase tourism visits between the two countries.

He conveyed that the Indonesian Government is looking forward to opening flights to Thaif, Saudi Arabia, as it is less crowded than Jeddah.

"We also welcome Saudi Arabia if it wants to open flights to Indonesia, including to Kertajati, Bali, and other places," he added.

Meanwhile, Secretary General Riyanto said they also offered Saudi Arabia to invest in transportation infrastructure development projects in Indonesia.

"The scheme we offer is through the public-private partnership (PPP)," he said.

Moreover, they also talked about the ease of tourism visa issuance to push up visits between the two countries.

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Translator: Benardy F, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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