Charters amid lockdown big relief for expats

Salalah: The charter flights from Salalah Airport to various Indian destinations are big relief for the stranded Indian expatriates. Due to ongoing lockdown in Dhofar Governorate, it is difficult for them to travel to Muscat from where the frequency of both – charter and Government of India sponsored Vande Bharat — flights are more than Salalah.

Among the four latest charter flights available are one for Delhi on July 9, while other two are between July 14 and 18 for Hyderabad and between July 15 and 17 for Kochi. All the charters are arranged by the Indian Social Club Salalah (ISC-Salalah).One more is likely for Madurai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on any date between July 17 and 20.

Manpreet Singh, Chairman of the Salalah unit of the Indian community club, said many Indians were repatriated both in Vande Bharat and charter flights earlier; still there are many who want to go their homeland for various reasons.

“The spread of COVID-19 and subsequent suspension of global flight operations put many in catch 22 situation. In some cases, husband is here and wife and children are there in India, some hove lost their jobs, many others had come on visit or tourist visas… there are elderly and sick people also who want to go and we are doing the best possible with support from the Sultanate’s government and Indian Embassy,” he said.

The Salalah-Delhi charter is full with a capacity of 180 passengers. The dates for the rest would be fixed based on passenger’s choice of dates.

The ISC-Salalah Chairman hinted at one more charter for Madurai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on any date between July 17 and 20.

He requested all interested who want to avail of the service, to register, pay the ticket money and book the seats.
Depending upon demand more flights would be arranged, he said.