Garuda Indonesia to Operate Flights Despite “Mudik” Ban

The airline says it will ensure air connectivity for those with permission to travel during the Lebaran holiday.

The view after takeoff from Tanjung Pinang, Bintan. (Photo: Yulia Agnis/Unsplash)

Although the Indonesian government is prohibiting all forms of interprovincial and intercity passenger transport by land, sea, and air from May 6–17, effectively shutting down domestic travel during Indonesia’s biggest holiday of the year, the national carrier still plans to run some flights.

Irfan Setiaputra, President and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, said in a statement that the company supported the government’s policy of restricting travel over the Lebaran period, and preventing mudik — the mass migration of millions of Indonesians from cities to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr in their hometowns or ancestral villages — would help accelerate a wider economic recovery. He said responding to the Covid-19 pandemic “requires active participation from all levels of society, including us as air transport service providers.”

But Irfan added that Garuda would continue running passenger flights throughout the holiday, making schedule adjustments to ensure air connectivity for those who have to fly during the period. Business travelers (holding an official letter from one’s workplace) are exempt from the mudik ban, as are those visiting sick or bereaved family members, pregnant women accompanied by one family member, and up to two people in cases of assisted childbirth.

As for those without an exemption, the airline is offering greater flexibility for affected passengers. Garuda Indonesia customers who were meant to travel during the Lebaran holiday can rebook their flights with no change fees or opt for a full refund.

More information here.

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