Tangerang, Banten (ANTARA) - National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has readied 14 wide-bodied aircraft to serve 109 thousand Indonesian Hajj pilgrims during the 2024 Hajj season.

The fleet, comprising Boeing and Airbus aircraft, will serve pilgrims starting from May 12, 2024.

"We will operate initial flights from Jakarta and Solo. There are 109 thousand Hajj pilgrims with a sufficient composition," Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra stated in Tangerang, Banten, on Wednesday.

The 109 thousand pilgrims will fly in 292 batches, departing from nine embarkation points: Jakarta, Medan, Padang, Aceh, Solo, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Makassar, and Lombok.

Garuda Indonesia has also ensured that all aircraft to be used to serve Hajj pilgrims are in prime condition and are fit to fly through a series of multi-layered inspections, including thorough maintenance of the aircraft engines and all vital components of the aircraft.

To provided added value in the services during flights, the airline is focusing on elderly-friendly services as well as providing catering tailored to the cuisine of each embarkation point.

"Our focus is making it an elderly-friendly Hajj flight, meaning that we will make efforts to ensure all pilgrims who fly with Garuda will be served maximally," Setiaputra remarked.

Likewise with the return services for Hajj pilgrims, he said, the airline is preparing two embarkation points in Jeddah and Medina in accordance with the agreement with the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

He further stated that to ensure the smooth running of services, Garuda Indonesia has increased the number of cabin crew by 600, tasked with serving elderly pilgrims.

"According to data, around 20 percent (of the pilgrims) are older adults aged over 65. This additional crew is to serve elderly pilgrims," he noted.

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Translator: Azmi Syamsul, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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