17 charter passengers offloaded for non-payment of fine

SALALAH: At a time when the repatriation charter flights are big relief to the people stranded for various reasons because of the COVID-19 situation, the organisers of such flights are facing the challenge of certain nitty-gritties like passengers not ready with requisite fees and penalties due on them.

At least 17 such passengers had to be offloaded from the Delhi bound charter flight from Salalah on Friday as there were certain penalties showing on them in the system. They could not board the flight despite having all other documents.

Confirming this, Manpreet Singh, Chairman of Indian Social Club Salalah, said, “We have been organising the charter flights keeping in mind the great difficulty the stranded people are facing. But in some cases some passengers have penalty obligations, which they are supposed to clear beforehand. I call upon the company PROs to take note of it and clear any such formality before their company employees proceed to buy ticket.”

“If detected at the last moment it is not only loss to the charter company, it is a situation for us that the seats which are booked earlier, go empty. Every single seat is valuable at this point in time. If we know this in advance, we can accommodate other needy people,” he said.

Friday’s flight was the second charter for Delhi from Salalah. All the 180 seats were pre booked, but 17 of them have to be cancelled due to penalties on the passengers.

Another charter from Salalah is scheduled on August 5 for Hyderabad, while booking is on for Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur in the Indian state of Kerala. On August 7 there is a flight for Kochi from Salalah under phase five of the Vande Bharat repatriation flight.