With scheduled flights to resume, all eyes on Covid precautions

Muscat: As airports in Oman open after a gap of 187 days for scheduled flights, the focus is now on the precautionary measures to be implemented by the airport, airlines, and civil aviation authorities.

The Supreme Committee on COVID-19 said international flights can resume from October 1, provided the flights are scheduled according to the health data of destinations and the place of origin of airlines coming into Oman.

“Within the framework of travel procedures issued by the supreme committee for dealing with Covid-19 and recommendations by the Civil Aviation Authority, we would like to inform you that the air traffic for international flights will be resumed starting from Thursday, October 1, 2020. We recommend that all passengers comply with the prevention measures announced by the Ministry of Health and the concerned authorities to prevent the spread of the virus and to check the airline’s website for any flight information or updates before heading to the airport,” Oman Airports said in a statement.

A group of 75 volunteers will help the authorities implement the COVID-19 precautionary measures when Muscat International Airport reopens for normal traffic.

The participation of the volunteers was sought by a group called TaawonNetwork, which works under the supervision of the Omani Society for Human Resources Management.

Oman Air said it is preparing to resume its scheduled operations from the beginning of October, amid precautionary measures that the company is committed to. “The national carrier has set up a progressive plan to restart employment to many points around the world.”

As per The International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics, the limited rise in global passenger volumes continues to be driven by domestic than international markets.

IATA has been calling on governments to work together to urgently find ways to re-establish global connectivity by re-opening borders and to continue with relief measures to sustain airlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

Currently, in Bahrain, passengers are subject to COVID-19 tests at their own expense and self-isolation until test results are ready. All passengers must wear a face mask.

Flights to India are suspended until September 30, 2020.

Passengers returning to Kuwait with a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued before departure from Kuwait. They must have been a maximum of four days abroad.

Passengers are subject to medical screening and self-isolation for 14 days.

Passengers must wear masks and gloves.

.Passengers traveling as tourists arriving at Dubai (DXB) must have health insurance and are subject to medical screening and must present a completed self-declaration health form.

Scheduled flight operations were suspended from March 29, even though both national and foreign airlines were allowed to operate for the repatriation of expatriates from Oman and citizens and residents into Oman.

“Our planes, people, and Oman’s airports are ready. We will provide safe, careful service to our guests, along with all travel-related information and requirements,” Oman Air said in a statement.

Flights that pass the Omani airspace, domestic services to Khasab airports, and oil concession areas continued to operate as the guidelines laid out by the government.

Volunteers are required to ensure precautionary measures to deal with developments of the COVID-19 pandemic at the airport.0

Oman Airports has completed the installation, and operation f PCR testing solutions.

Airports Council International (ACI) said the airport industry is anticipating a -59.6 percent reduction in passenger volumes in 2020 vis-à-vis the projected baseline (pre-COVID-19 forecast for 2020) and a -58.4 percent reduction in passengers as compared to 2019. This equates to a reduction in passengers of -5.6 billion for the year.