TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra said his side was preparing new routes to cover the closure of several international flights following the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak.
“We will introduce new routes as the replacement of the closed ones due to the COVID-19. Hopefully, we can maintain the routes from being implicated by the virus, especially routes to and from Denpasar,” said Irfan at his office, Thursday, February 27.
Among routes that are possible to be opened are Brisbane - Denpasar, Denpasar - Delhi, Denpasar - Mumbai, Denpasar - Kuala Lumpur, and Denpasar - Bangkok. Discussions on the routes, Irfan said, were still afoot.
“This is the company’s reaction to the aviation business. We, of course, don’t hope this tourism sentiment from rising and affecting all industries,” he added.
Regarding the suspension of Umrah flights, Irfan admitted his side will incur significant losses. However, he stopped short of detailing the number. “We are not a company that is muttering because of losses,” he said, adding that the condition will be taken as challenges to improve the firm’s performance regardless of the condition.
Before the temporary ban of Umrah entry issued by Saudi Arabia, the state airlines had halted several international routes including China and shortened the flight frequency to Hong Kong and Singapore.
At present, Garuda Indonesia was keeping to serve flights to and from South Korea while waiting for further development. “Garuda is a state-owned enterprise so a route closure must be done under permission and order of related ministries since it may bring impact on the bilateral relationship of the two countries,” Irfan said.
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