TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Saudi Airlines plans to open a new route from Medan to Madinah and Jeddah to Medan starting from December 7, 2014, to accommodate the potential number of travelers going away for vacation, umrah, and traders from North Sumatera and the surrounding provinces.
"For the first phase, there will be two flights per week, every Wednesday and Sunday. With our Boeing B-747, 80 percent passengers capacity can be fulfilled," said Managing Director of General Sales for Saudi Airlines Andri Bermawi on Monday, October 20, 2014.
Andri made his statement during the Saudi Airlines management meeting with travel companies in North Sumatera, Aceh, Padang and Riau. As flights from Jakarta become more and more crowded, Medan and Surabaya was chosen as two alternatives because Medan has a large number of potential passengers flying for umrah and for tourism purposes.
"North Sumatera's Kualanamu Airport has very large runways and can accommodate larger sized planes," said Andri.
Data showed that nearly 3,500 people travel for umrah every month from Medan. The number is likely to increase more if other provinces such as West Sumatera, Riau and Aceh are included. "After umrah, people usually travel elsewhere because Saudi Airlines provide routes to Europe and United States. Likewise, North Sumatera can also be visited by tourists from those countries," said Andri.