TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Garuda Indonesia president-director Irfan Setiaputra assures that umrah and hajj flight bookings can be rescheduled after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resides. This comes after the fact that all flight schedules to Saudi Arabia have been unavailable after the country stopped giving entry permit visa in the early stages of the pandemic.
“We have collectively agreed that no one would be at a loss, each and every flight booking can be rescheduled and there will be no additional hajj deposits,” said Irfan in a hearing with the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission VI on Wednesday, April 29.
He says that the air carrier and hajj and umrah travel organizers have agreed to this decision to avoid further economic damage amid the global pandemic especially towards the hajj/umrah travel industry that has faced significant losses due to the curbs. This was highlighted by DPR's Commission VI member Melani Leimana Suharli in the hearing.
Responding to Suharli’s concerns, Irfan states: “So it’s clear, we are all in the same difficult situation. All of the flight bookings can be rescheduled.”
Umrah and Hajj Travel Union, with members exceeding 200 travel agents, previously recorded a 100 percent closure in the industry, which has also resulted in travel agents laying off their workers due to the lack of demand.