JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has accepted the government’s decision to ban foreign nationals from entering Indonesia between January 1 to January 14, 2021, following the recent discovery of a new strain of Covid-19 in Great Britain.
“Garuda Indonesia will comply [with the ban], as it is part of the government’s measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra to the Antara state news agency on Tuesday, 29 December 2020.
“We will offer [foreign] passengers affected by the ban the option of rescheduling their flight. We hope that this, along with the latest development of the Covid-19 pandemic, will help them plan their trip.”
He added that Garuda Indonesia will maintain its services as a means of mass transport, and will do its part to contain the level of Covid-19 cases, even those of the ‘VUI-202012/01’ strain that infected 1,018 people in eastern and southern England.
Irfan noted that “Garuda Indonesia will monitor the latest travel developments of the countries on the airline’s itinerary. We will review the frequency of our flights to those destinations and consider new routes for 2021.” He did not say which overseas routes will be altered or phased out.
Irfan asserted that Garuda Indonesia will further coordinate with the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises. Indonesia has banned foreign nationals from entering the country.
Indonesia’s ban on foreign nationals entering the country comes as Garuda is starting to pick up its business at the end of 2021.
This is reflected in the increased frequency of flights to and from Europe, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The airline has also increased the number of passengers from 500 thousand at the second quarter of 2020 to 1.5 million on the third quarter of the year.