ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Indonesian hajj pilgrims depart for Saudi Arabia
Publication Date : 22-09-2012
Thousands of hajj pilgrims from 9 cities across Indonesia left for Saudi Arabia yesterday.
In Jakarta, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali waved off 455 hajj pilgrims at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Banten.
Another 1,500 hajj pilgrims departed from Surakarta, Central Java as well as 750 from Makassar, South Sulawesi.
More pilgrims departed from several cities including Banda Aceh, Medan, Palembang and Lombok.
Suryadharma promised that Indonesian pilgrims would enjoy better facilities. He said that the pilgrims’ housing complex would be a maximum distance of 2.5 kilometres away from Ka’bah, the Muslims’ holiest site, in Mecca.
“The government has prepared a medical team to treat the pilgrims, particularly those who have high-risk conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension,” he said.
Emirsyah Satar, national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia’s president director, said the airline prepared 29 aircraft on 296 flight schedules to fly a total of 112,683 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year.
Suryadharma said that future pilgrims would also enjoy a cost reduction when making the pilgrimage.
“The Saudi Arabian government has cut the US$ 227 general service fee, which will ease the pilgrims’ burden,” he told The Jakarta Post at the airport.