Muscat: The Air Bubble agreement between Oman and India that started from October 1 and effective until November 30 has been revised, according to local media reports. The initial agreement was to fly 10,000 passengers weekly in each direction (so 20,000 passengers in total); this has now has been reduced to 5,000 per week, one way (so 10,000 passengers in total).
Although the report attributed the reduction to some passengers testing positive on arrival in Oman, quoting an official from Civil Aviation Authority, a travel agent mentioned that seats were not fully utilised by the airlines. In the wake of the announcement of the air bubble agreement, private and low-cost airlines from India such as Indigo, SpiceJet and Go Air had also announced their flight schedule between Oman and India.
However, recent reports indicated only national airlines of both the countries were now allowed to operate flights, which means only Oman Air, Salam Air and Air India Express will now fly as per the air bubble agreement.
While airlines from India are eligible to operate flights to and from Sultanate to any Indian cities, Omani carriers, namely Oman Air and Salam Air can only operate flights to 11 destinations in India from Oman.
A leading travel agent based in Muscat said that the effective from November 9, the seats allowed are 5,000 per week for the carriers of each country. The private airlines from India have also been requested to discontinue their operations from the same date (November 9).
Many expatriates has lost their jobs and are leaving Oman for their home countries. Those who have managed to hold on to their jobs in Oman, however, are awaiting for the quarantine to be lifted in India to travel.