Garuda Indonesia planes are seen at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. (Antara Photo/Fikri Yusuf)

Garuda Resumes Flight to China on 70th Anniversary of Bilateral Ties


SEPTEMBER 01, 2020

Jakarta. National carrier Garuda Indonesia resumed flights to and from China on Tuesday, as both countries celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Commercial air travels to the giant neighbor has been halted since February 5 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

China limits destination to one city for an airline during the pandemic, but Garuda can fly to two as its subsidiary also serves a Chinese route. The flight frequency is limited to once per week.

Garuda resumes flights to the city of Chengdu while subsidiary Citilink serves the route to Kunming, Garuda chief executive Irfan Setiaputra said in Jakarta.

"We all have agreed not to dispute this requirement. Chinese citizens who travel home [from Indonesia] also don’t see any issue and don’t mind landing anywhere in their home country," Irfan said.

Prior to the pandemic, Garuda flew to major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou and Xi’an.

Bilateral Ties

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Tuesday he made a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to congratulate for the seven decades of friendly ties, after the latter sent him a letter carrying remarks of the same tone.

"I thanked for the letter from President Xi, who congratulated on our 70th anniversary of bilateral relationship. I sincerely hope our relationship and cooperation will be stronger and mutually beneficial," the president said.

Jokowi also expressed gratitude for Chinese support in the supply of vaccine against coronavirus and joint production of the vaccine, following a visit by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Statet-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir to Beijing last month.

Both countries agreed on the arrangement of “travel corridor" on August 21 to allow essential business trips and official visits between the two countries, Jokowi added.