Monday, November 09, 2020

Oman-India air bubble seat numbers reduced

Muscat: The number of seats in the air bubble agreement between Oman and India has been cut after some passengers were tested COVID positive on arrival, according to a spokesperson from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The official also confirmed that the capacity of seats in the air bubble agreement between Oman and India has been reduced to 5,000 per week from the earlier 10,000 per week.

“Previously, the limit was 10,000 passengers per week in each direction, to and from Oman. Now the number of passengers has been reduced to 5,000 passengers in one direction on both sides, for the Omani and Indian air carriers. Neither side had achieved the limit of 10,000 per week in one direction,” the official stated.

Regarding the distribution of carriers and flight destinations, the official clarified that, “As is the case with the Omani side, the CAA has requested India to distribute the 5,000 passengers across its airlines such that the total number is 10,000 passengers per week in both directions. But the Indian authorities have banned the private airlines and given the permit only to the two government carriers namely, Air India and Air India Express. While we have no objection as to which airline companies have the right to operate flights between the Sultanate and India, the decision regarding Indian carriers rests with the Indian authorities. Further, while the Indian side can operate flights to the Sultanate from any city in India, the Omani side has the right to operate flights only to 11 destinations in India.”

Travel agents based in Oman confirmed that starting from yesterday, Indian private airlines like Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir were not being allowed to operate flights between Oman and India as part of the air bubble agreement.

Speaking to the Times of Oman, a leading travel agent in Muscat said that this decision is based on a letter issued by Anup Pant, Undersecretary to the Government of India, Agreement Division, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India.

09/11/20 Times of Oman

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