Director general of Hajj and Umrah implementation, Hilman Latief, and the general manager of Hajj and Umrah revenue management and sales of Saudia Airlines, Amer Al Ghamdi, during the signing of a cooperation agreement on Hajj transportation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday (April 17, 2023). (ANTARA/HO/Kemenag)
The Indonesia Ministry of Religious Affairs and Saudia Airlines inked a cooperation agreement on the transportation of Indonesian pilgrims for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday.
The cooperation was inked by the ministry’s director general of Hajj and Umrah implementation, Hilman Latief, and the general manager of Hajj and Umrah revenue management and sales of Saudia Airlines, Amer Al Ghamdi.
Under the cooperation, Saudia Airlines will transport 101,809 Indonesian Hajj pilgrims from 5 embarkation points: Batam, Palembang, Jakarta, Kertajati, and Surabaya.
“As a partner that has been transporting Indonesian pilgrims for years, it is hoped that Saudia can improve the quality of its services to pilgrims this year,” Latief said.
Latief said, the discussion on the agreement was not easy since it involved a long and detailed discussion and required patience and carefulness.
“To this end, we express our gratitude to Saudia Airlines. The Indonesian government’s success in Hajj services is also a success for Saudia Airlines,” he said.
He added that this year, there will be more than 60 thousand Indonesian Hajj pilgrims aged 65 years and above. Thus, more hospitable services from Saudia Airlines will be needed.
At Monday’s event, Ghamdi expressed gratitude to the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has cooperated with Saudia Airlines for the last 25 years.
“This year, the requirements to become an air transportation provider are not easy, and thankfully, today, a cooperation agreement has been signed,” he said.
Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdul Azis Ahmad, who was also present on the occasion, lauded Saudia Airlines, which has been trusted to become the air transportation provider for Indonesian Hajj pilgrims.
“Future business challenges will become harder because business competition has become a reality. The business we do is a responsible business, namely to provide the best services to customers, in this case, Indonesian pilgrims,” Ahmad said.
This year, at least 221 thousand Hajj pilgrims from Indonesia will join the Hajj pilgrimage. Of the figure, 203,320 will be regular Hajj pilgrims and 17,680 will be special Hajj pilgrims. (INE)