The Jakarta Post
'Umrah' (minor haj) pilgrims perform the ritual of running between the Safa and Marwah hills. Garuda Indonesia has launched a donation program that allows its GarudaMiles members to contribute towards an 'umrah' (minor haj) trip for underprivileged citizens. (JP/Endy M Bayuni)
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has launched a donation program that allows its GarudaMiles members to contribute miles toward an umrah (minor haj) trip for underprivileged people.
The program, "Sedekah Umroh" (Umrah Donations), is supported by the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Haj and Umrah Providers Association, as the organizer responsible for providing the travel packages.
The launch was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Garuda and the ministry, represented by the airline's domestic commerce director Nina Sulistyowati and the Religious Affairs Ministry's secretary-general Nur Syam in Jakarta on Friday.
"Through the Umrah Donations program, Garuda Indonesia invites Garuda Miles to contribute toward donating their miles to realize the dream of a deserving community to travel for the umrah pilgrimage," Nina said, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Nina further explained that the program had been introduced during a Garuda Indonesia Travel Fair in April, adding that the launch this month aimed to raise awareness to encourage members to donate multiples of 1,000 miles accumulated from their travels.
The miles would be converted into a flight ticket for umrah, which is valued at 80,000 miles.
"Right now we have converted one umrah package. In this early stage, Garuda Indonesia aims to send 100 chosen people to conduct the umrah pilgrimage," Nina said.
The national flag carrier currently provides 30 flights from major cities across Indonesia to Saudi Arabia using Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 every week. (liz/asw)