Sixth batch of Indonesians flown home

Lyna Mohamad

Another batch of Indonesian migrant workers was flown home to Jakarta, Indonesia by Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) last Sunday bringing the number of repatriation flights by RB to Indonesia to six.

Sunday’s sixth repatriation flight carried 246 Indonesian citizens and migrant workers to their homeland. This brings the number of Indonesian citizens repatriated to 912.

The arrangement by the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam with RB facilitated five flights to Jakarta and one flight to Surabaya since May. The first flight to Jakarta was on May 1, the second, third, fourth and fifth flights on May 15, 17, June 21 and July 5. The Indonesian Embassy also facilitated the repatriation of three seriously ill Indonesian citizens and seven Bruneian diplomats and their families.

Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Brunei Darussalam Dr Sujatmiko said taking into account there are still many Indonesian citizens and migrant workers submitting requests to return to Indonesia, the embassy is planning the seventh special flight sometime in August to Surabaya.

He said the upcoming flight was to accommodate Indonesian citizens and PMIs whose homes are in East Java and hoped that RB will re-open its normal flights to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali by September.

Besides the repatriation of seriously ill and remaining citizens, the process of returning these residents was self-funded, where the majority of those who returned were Indonesian migrant workers whose employment contracts in Brunei Darussalam had expired.

The Indonesian Embassy provided passengers with gloves, face masks, travel permit and a yellow card (Health Alert Card) from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. Upon arrival in Indonesia, those who did not take the swab-test in Brunei Darussalam will undergo the COVID-19 swab-test and 14-day quarantine.

An embassy official checking the documents at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD