JAKARTA - Saudi Arabia has said it is considering a ban on Indonesian airlines from flying to the country for safety reasons. This news comes just after a newly instated ban in the European Union was announced for similar reasons. That ban came after two major air accidents in the archipelago earlier this year.
The transport ministry said that it has received a letter from the aviation authorities in Saudi Arabia warning for a possible ban for all Indonesian operators. According to a spokesman of the ministry, the ban is the result of the recent decision in the EU to blacklist all Indonesian airlines on safety reasons as well. Saudi Arabia, which normally follows the EU aviation policy, but because of the country's close ties with Indonesia, Riyadh has suggested direct talks to look for options.
Around half a million Indonesians travel to Saudi Arabia every year for work or pilgrimage. The country's national carrier Garuda Indonesia - the only Indonesian airline to fly to the country - says it is currently having peak season and it will expand flights to the country shortly.