The Jakarta Post
The government moved the departure of one Saudi Airlines haj flight from Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Friday.
Originally, the plane was scheduled to depart at 12 a.m. on Friday from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport but was rescheduled to depart at 1:05 p.m. from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Transportation Ministry spokesman JA Barata said in a statement on Friday.
He said the government had moved the flight because of runway damage at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport after the departure of a Boeing 777 flight to Madinah, Saudi Arabia.Read also: 2017 haj price rises to almost Rp 35m
He said the damage resulted in the runway being closed for three hours to allow repair work to be done.
"On Friday, there would have been three haj pilgrimage flights from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport," Barata said, adding that after the repairs were made, haj flights from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport could proceed as scheduled.
Friday was the first day of departure for Indonesian pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia. This year, Indonesia will send 221,000 pilgrims to the country. Indonesians have to wait an average of 17 years after registration to embark on the haj. (bbn)