Garuda Indonesia eyes Umrah
route from Batam

Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia plans to open direct flights from Batam to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to facilitate Muslims wishing to perform umroh (a religious pilgrimage).

Garuda Indonesia's general manager in Batam, Dewa Suastika, said Friday that the airline was targeting umroh pilgrims from Sumatra, who mostly depart for Jeddah from neighboring Singapore.

The airline will open routes connecting Batam, Medan and Pekanbaru, all in Sumatra, in April. “Nowadays, more Muslims perform umroh. We want them to be able to depart directly from Batam instead of Singapore,” Dewa told The Jakarta Post.

Dewa, however, did not reveal the launch date for the Batam-Jeddah route. “We hope to introduce it this year.”

In Batam, around 500 people perform umroh every month. (lfr)

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