TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State airliner Garuda Indonesia sets 14 aircraft to fly 107,964 hajj pilgrims this year. Garuda Operations Director Triyanto Moeharsono said the company has set 5 units of Airbus A330, 5 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and 4 units of Boeing 744 and Airbus A330 for this year's hajj flights.
"This year we'll fly 107,964 prospective pilgrims. The number is not much different from last year's," Triyanto said on Wednesday, April 25.
He said the flights will depart through nine embarkation airports, namely in Banda Aceh, Medan, Padang, Jakarta, Solo, Balikpapan, Makassar, Lombok, and Banjarmasin. The highest number of pilgrims is in Solo with 34,112 people divided into 96 batches.
The government plans to fly some pilgrims through Kertajati Airport which is also included in the company's plan. However, the flights from the airport must transit through Soekarno-Hatta Airport.
Triyanto reasoned that the length of the runway of Kertajati Airport has not met the minimum standards for the dual-carriage airplane (wide body). The current length is only 2,500 meters, while the minimum requirement is 3,000 meters.
Consequently, there will be additional costs as flights are not done directly. Garuda Indonesia asked the government to be willing to bear the cost. "We will talk with the Ministry of Religious Affairs," he said.