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Hajj Pilgrim's Return Flight Delayed for 5 Hours, Govt Reprimands Garuda Indonesia

25 June 2024 12:20 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Ministry of Religious Affairs asked the airline company Garuda Indonesia to be more professional while serving the Hajj pilgrims, following a delay in the pilgrimage’s return flight to the country. The plane for the KNO-02 pilgrim group was delayed for more than five hours.

"Long delays like this are very disappointing for Indonesian Hajj pilgrims. The long delay exacerbated the exhausting travel from Mecca to Medina. I hope that Garuda Indonesia will be more professional and responsible, and there won’t be a repeat of this incident," " said the Director of Domestic Hajj Services at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, Saiful Mujab, in a statement in Jakarta, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Saiful explained that KNO-02 was slated to fly from Amir Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport (AMAA) in Medina at 11:20 a.m. WAS (Saudi Arabian Time).

Noting this schedule, the Hajj pilgrims departed from their hotel in Medina at 05:20 a.m. WAS after breakfast at the hotel. At 05:48 WAS, the Hajj Organizing Officer (PPIH) received the written notice of the flight delay to 01:45 p.m. WAS.

The flight was then delayed for the second time to 03:45 p.m. WAS flight, and actually departed at 04:33 p.m. WAS. 

"There was a five hours and thirteen minutes delay and Garuda Indonesia did not compensate the Hajj pilgrims,” he said.

Saiful said Garuda Indonesia first delayed the flight because of a temporary flight ban due to the hot temperatures of the Medina Airport runway. Meanwhile, the second delay occurred for an inspection of the airplane’s body which was dented when it landed in Medina. 

"Information about the schedule change was delivered late. The schedule change was given in two notifications, giving the impression that Garuda (Indonesia) was delaying time to avoid compensation and there was no official apology from Garuda (Indonesia) for this long delay," said Saiful Mujab.

ANTARA

Editor’s Choice: 2024 Hajj: 6 AP II Airports Anticipate Returning Indonesian Pilgrims 

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