"We will prepare flight routes for Umrah (from Kertajati Airport) that is expected to commence next November. (The airport) custom, immigration, and quarantine facilities have also been on standby on call for duty," the acting director general, Nur Isnin Istiartono, stated here, Thursday.
The directorate general will coordinate with the relevant government and institutions, regional authorities, the airport operator, and travel agents to prepare Kertajati Airport for Hajj and Umrah flights.
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Preparations are also ongoing for other supporting facilities, such as hotels, hospitals, and the Hajj dormitory, he noted.
"Our efforts must be supported by other essential supporting facilities, such as the main road access and the Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan toll road, expected to be completed next October," Istiartono remarked.
The official stated that the directorate general, on September 7, 2022, had requested the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to prepare flight slots at Saudi airports for Indonesian pilgrims departing from Kertajati Airport in November.
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He noted that as a gateway to international travel, Kertajati Airport is expected to play its role in the national aviation industry's recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the religious affairs ministry's directorate general of Hajj and Umrah data as per 2022, a total of 8,657 Umrah pilgrims from areas surrounding the airport, such as the Greater Bandung area, the Ciayumajakuning region, and other regions in West Java, and Central Java, are awaiting their flights to Saudi Arabia to perform their pilgrimage.
"The number excludes our residents, who are fond of traveling abroad. Hence, Kertajati Airport is expected to facilitate residents' movement efficiently," Istiartono remarked.
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