Photo: Travellers line up at Garuda's check in counter at Terminal 3 Ultimate on the first day of the new international terminal's operations for domestic flights at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
Jakarta – Indonesia’s government is diverting around 250 umrah pilgrims this week affected by the closure of Saudi Arabia’s airports and airspace to Qatari planes, following a diplomatic rift between the two Arab nations that erupted on June 5, Nur Syam, secretary-general of Indonesia’s ministry of religious affairs told Salaam Gateway.
“We have informed all pilgrims to stay calm and concentrate on their worship because we will do all that is necessary if anything happens,” he said.
According to him, the government will divert the pilgrims to national carrier Garuda, and Turkish Airlines.
100 pilgrims were diverted last night to Garuda Airlines to fly back to Jakarta, said Nur Syam.
The GA 983 flight departed Jeddah at 1.04 this morning and landed in Jakarta this afternoon at 3.13 pm local time.
The government has asked airlines to work together to resolve scheduling and re-allocation issues for umrah pilgrims during the crisis.
Travel agents booked on Qatar Airways have been asked to report to the ministry.
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