Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia has opened a new route, from Padang, West Sumatra, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, dedicated for umrah pilgrims, the flag carrier said in a statement on Sunday (12/11).
The new service, which is for chartered flights only, was introduced in the airline's effort to tap into the pilgrimage market in the province.
A ceremony for the maiden GA9860 flight was inaugurated by Padang Mayor H. Mahyeldi Ansharullah and Garuda's top management, with 306 passengers on board.
The Airbus A330-300 flights will be operated until June 6.
Garuda director Sigit Muhartono said in the statement that the new route is part of Garuda's commitment to serve the largest Muslim-majority country in the world.
According to Garuda, 20,000 passengers from West Sumatra go for umrah each year.