Indonesian tourism industry takes blow from Qatar diplomatic row
Garuda Indonesia planes are seen on the tarmac of Terminal 3, SoekarnoÐHatta International Airport near Jakarta, Indonesia April 28, 2017. Reuters

Indonesian government said flights heading to Qatar would operate normally following the bitter severance of diplomatic ties between the Arab Nations including closing the land, water and air areas to Qatar on Monday.

Antara News quoted the Transportation Ministry's Aviation Director Maria Kristi Endah Murni saying the latest policy had a minor impact on their flight operations. "Flights en route to Indonesia will not be affected by the Arab nation's measures," Murni said.

She added that the government was reassuring the safety of Indonesian pilgrims who were scheduled to transit to Qatar's capital city of Doha.

The ministry will attempt to transfer 65 Indonesian Umrah pilgrims to other airlines like Saudi Airlines or Garuda Indonesia. 20 pilgrims or so have travelled with the Qatari airlines while 45 pilgrims have transferred to other airlines.

Maria said the ministry was overseeing the situation in Qatar while the Qatar Airways Marketing Coordinator Laila Nurlaila Purnamasari emphasized that Indonesian flights would not be affected. She added that Qatar Airways is expected to increase its flight frequency to Indonesia next month.

The Indonesian government, however, is seeing a blow to its tourism industry after the ties we broken between the Arab countries and Qatar.

The Jakarta Post reported that 50,000 tourists were expected to halt their trip because of the crisis.

Arief said to minimize the expected losses, the ministry will coordinate with the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license awarded to Qatar Airways to other middle-eastern airlines such as Emirates and Etihad.

In 2016, Indonesia received 12.023 million foreign visitors, a growth of 15.54 per cent compared to 2015, achieving the government's target of 12 million international arrivals.

This year, the Indonesian government had set a 25 per cent growth in tourist arrivals to 15 million.

The ties between the Arab Nations and Qatar were cut over allegations of Qatar's support of terrorist groups. The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebutted the claims saying it was based on false claims.