Salalah, Oct 15 – Amid relief over tropical storm Luban passing without causing any major damage, Salalah — which experienced scattered rains in some areas on Monday morning — saw arrival of its first Russian charter.
Many activities, including beginning of charter season 2018-19, failed to get adequate attention as both guests and hosts were worried about the course of Luban, which eventually made its landfall in Yemen on Sunday.
The first Russian charter tourists arrived on Nordwind Airlines. The charter is being handled by Meeting Point, an international tour operator. Its Operations Supervisor, Hossam Eidin Mahmoud, confirmed the arrival of the first charter from Russia.
The charter, which will carry 189 tourists every 10 days, will operate on the Salalah sector up to May 5, 2019.
This year’s charter season began on October 10 with the arrival of the Polish charter carrying 185 passengers, while the second batch with 191 passengers arrived on October 13.
The Polish charter is being handled by Desert Gate Tourism. Managing Director Jamal Refaat admitted there was no interruption in the charters’ arrival in Salalah.
Refaat said the third charter from Poland will arrive in the first week of November.
“We had taken precautions for the safety of our guests. We were constantly monitoring weather alerts from the Public Authority of Civil Aviation,” said Refaat.
The Ministry of Tourism too was monitoring the situation. “Today, we are allowed to take out only 72 passengers on tour in view of the alert sounded by the Met Office. May be from tomorrow, we would be able to take out more tourists,” he said.
The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Oman Airports, organised a reception for tourists arriving at Salalah airport, which included water cannon welcome to the plane and the performance of traditional Omani arts.
Marhoon bin Said al Ameri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Tourism in the Governorate of Dhofar, said tourists from Russia will support the growth of tourism sector in the governorate.
Other charters scheduled on the Salalah sector are Slovak, Czech and Italian. Slovak and Czech charters will have 189 passengers weekly, while the weekly Italian charter will have 329 passengers.
The operation of Slovak and Czech charters has already begun, while the season’s first Italian charter is to arrive in Salalah on October 26.