First repatriation charter for Madurai takes off from Salalah

Salalah: It was a big relief for the expatriates from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to get a direct flight from Salalah to Madurai. It was the first direct flight from Salalah to Tamil Nadu.

The Salam Air charter flight arranged by the Indian Social Club (ISC) Salalah, took off from Salalah Airport on Tuesday carrying 130 passengers. The remaining 50 seats got occupied by the passengers from Muscat.

“There was a huge demand for a flight to any destination in Tamil Nadu because there were many from the state who wanted to go their homeland in the wake of COVID-19 situation,” said Manpreet Singh, Chairman ISC Salalah.

The other issue, according to him, was landing permission only to people from a particular state. “For example, if someone has his passport issued in Kerala, he can travel only to Kerala. So it was difficult for the people from Tamil Nadu to catch a Kerala flight and cover the rest of the journey by road.”

The Club registered all such passengers and contacted the airline. Following approvals from the governments of Oman and India, the flight schedules were announced and accommodated people based on their needs.

“Priority was given to emergency cases and those who had visa issues, cancellations, job losses etc,” said Singh.

One more flight is scheduled for Kochi on July 23, while flights for Hyderabad and Delhi are being arranged by the end of this month.