Sat, 12 Feb 2000

Britania Airways for haj pilgrimage

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: To anticipate the tremendous rise in the number of haj pilgrims departing from Makassar, local transportation officials here said they had chartered the services of Britania Airways to help.

The head of state-owned airport ground handling firm PT Gapura Angkasa Agus Sutomo told The Jakarta Post here on Friday that pilgrims would be using the company's new series of Boeing 767s.

"We will not use old planes any longer. We will use new planes belonging to Britania Airways," he said, referring to past complaints on the quality of service given to pilgrims

No details of the arrangement were given.

Agus said the number of people conducting the pilgrimage this year is expected to be around 38,692 people, a marked increase compared to last year's 22,069.

He said the pilgrims would depart in 119 groups, the first of which would depart on Monday. (27/jun)