State airport operator Angkasa Pura II and national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia signed Friday a memorandum of understanding on increasing the number of passengers leaving on the umrah from Aceh.
Currently, there are two flights a week that connect Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Surakarta, Central Java, and Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Aceh with King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, serving about 100 passengers.
“There are only two flights operating a week, so far, which are every Tuesday and Thursday. I hope with the support of the provincial government, the umrah flights can be carried out every day,” said Sultan Iskandar Muda airport general manager Surahmat, as quoted by kompas.com.
Garuda Indonesia general manager for Aceh Nano Setiawan sees potential in pilgrimage flights from Aceh. She said there were 15 hajj guidance groups (KBIH) in Aceh and the potential for 100 pilgrims per month, although minor hajj pilgrims departing Aceh to date only numbered about 50 people per month.