Muscat: Notwithstanding the announcement of tourist visa resumption by India recently, the news of air bubble extension till November end to and from India has disappointed Omani tourists planning their trip to India.
Currently, carriers that are allowed operations between Oman and India are Oman Air, Salam Air, Air India and Air India Express.
Gassan Al Jamali, a businessman and an avid traveller had plans to spend the Omani National Day holiday due in November, in the golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. “We were excited to learn about the opening of tourist visa to India but then the extension of air bubble means not much choice in air travel to India. With the ticket prices still in higher altitudes, we have no choice but to postpone the trip. We might do a Qatar or a Dubai, as the weather is good in GCC countries as well and there is Expo and World Cup preparation to watch.”
Pooja Dubey a student studying at BMS College in Bangalore says that most of the Indian colleges now are back to the normal curriculum of compulsory in-person attendance. “NRI students like us must leave our overseas pad to attend our college as classes start from mid-November. One way ticket to Bangalore, on Oman Air is costing me almost 150 riyals which is way higher than the normal-day fare. Fortunately Air India flights are available for the same day for 93 riyals to Bangalore via Delhi, which is fine with us. “
A sales agent working with Moon Travels says that their outlet received a lot of enquiries on travel to Indian destinations like Bombay and Goa, when the tourist visa resumption announcement came through. “But with the news of air bubble announcement, our customers have put their travel plans on hold, hoping that by December normal flight operations will resume.”