Govt Mulls Using Garuda to Evacuate Indonesians in Japan



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaTransportation Ministry was coordinating with the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the possibility to evacuate Indonesians in Japan in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.

    Air Transportation Director-General Novie Riyanto said the evacuation time had not been decided yet, waiting for the order by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

    “We are also communicating with Garuda Indonesia upon the evacuation plan of Indonesians in Japan. We are only handling the technical, such as managing the fleet and others,” said Novie as reported by Bisnis on Wednesday, February 19.

    However, Novie confirmed that his side did not tap a certain airline. Every carrier was given the same opportunity, yet the determination of which carrier must be under the prevailing regulations, such as having an operational license from the related country and proper aircraft. This was the same as the evacuation of Indonesians from Wuhan, China.

    Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said his staffers were waiting for the instruction from the leading sector’s team of Health Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry. “When there is an order to evacuate, we will prepare the fleet,” he said.

    According to Budi Karya, many Indonesians were still residing in the mainland of China and chose to stay there despite the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, his side was open to evacuation options.

    When asked for confirmation, Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra said he had not been confirmed regarding the evacuation plan of Indonesians in Japan. But, he ensured that his side would be ready if ordered.

    Previous reports suggested that three out of 78 Indonesians on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been confirmed positive for novel coronavirus. The ship has been quarantined at a port in Yokohama, Japan, since February 4 after one of its passengers was found to carry the virus.