TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Garuda Indonesia president director Irfan Setiaputra said the government’s decision to scrap this year’s hajj pilgrimage had afflicted the company, as hajj trips accounted for around 10 percent of the national flag carrier’s yearly income.
“If hajj pilgrimage is canceled, it will lead to a significant drop in income, because 10 percent [of the income] is lost. And this is a huge blow for Garuda,” Irfan said in a virtual press conference on Friday, June 5, 2020.
Irfan explained his company was usually busy during three seasons—the hajj pilgrimage, the Eid al-Fitr holidays and the year-end holidays—which were the golden moments for the airline to generate profits. He added his company had also readied its fleet for the hajj trips, comprising at least 16 large aircraft of the Boeing 777 and the Airbus types.
On June 2, Religious Affairs Minister Fahcrul Razi announced the government had canceled the hajj pilgrimage this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said had affected all aspects of the country’s religious and social affairs.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA