Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport Used to Repatriate Nearly Five Thousands Indonesian Migrant Workers

05 May 2020

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JAKARTA – Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have implemented policy to repatriate their citizens, including Indonesia. A total of 4,960 Indonesian migrant workers have returned to Indonesia through Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

According to records dated from March 23 to April 27, as many as 27 special charter flights had been arranged to repatriate migrant workers who work in various countries.

"One of the reasons airports remain operating during this pandemic is to serve special flights such as repatriation flight, both repatriation of Indonesian citizens returning to their homeland or repatriation of foreign nationals to their respective countries. Until the end of April, the repatriation flights for Indonesian citizens that we served were 27 flights, starting with LOT Polish Airlines with flight number LO8535 on March 23 until the last flight on April 27 with Garuda Indonesia with flight number GA4046," said Vice President Corporate Secretary of Angkasa Pura Airports Handy Heryudhitiawan.

"Until the end of April, there were a total of 4,960 Indonesians we served to return to Indonesia via Bali with the special charter flights. It is estimated this number will continue to grow following the addition of unscheduled rescue flight requests.”

As many as 11 airlines from several countries were involved to repatriate Indonesian nationals: LOT Polish Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Qatar Airways, Wamos Air, Air Europa, NEOS Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Smartwings, AirAsia X, Garuda Indonesia, and Air Cairo. Wamos Air flight EB9420 from Athens, Greece, carried the most Indonesian passengers of 439 people.

"With a large number passengers, anticipatory steps certainly have been taken, especially related to checking passengers. Officers from the Port Health Office (KKP) and COVID-19 Task Force Team are always on standby. All steps have been carried out in accordance with applicable provisions and SOPs, including handling passengers who show symptoms of illness," Handy added.

A total of 3,408 foreigners have been repatriated through I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport

Apart from repatriating Indonesian citizens, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is also used to repatriate foreign nationals in Bali. From February 8 to April 27, 22 the repatriation flights have carried at least 3,408 foreigners from various countries.

"The first repatriation flight was from the Chinese Government who repatriated 61 Chinese citizens to return to Wuhan with China Eastern MU799 on February 8. The last one, we serve 242 repatriation flights to Samara city in Russia with Rossiya Airlines flight FV6296 on April 27,” Handy said.

It is recorded that 14 international airlines served the repatriation flights: China Eastern Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Avion Express, Condor Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air Europa, NEOS Airlines, Smartwings, Rossiya Airlines, Sunday Airlines, Air Yakutia, UTAir, Garuda Indonesia, and Air Cairo.

"Through the rules stipulated in the Minister of Transportation Decree No. PM 25 of 2020 in article 20 paragraph 1, exceptions to the prohibition of flight operations are given to repatriation flight to repatriate Indonesian citizens or foreign nationals. This is one of the reasons airports continue to operate during this pandemic. Certainly, we continuously coordinate with various agencies related to passengers handling, both Indonesian citizens returning from abroad or foreign tourists returning to their countries. The handling procedures have definitely been adjusted to the applicable SOP,” Handy said.