Oman has cut by half the number of total seats to and from India, which means that under the air bubble agreement, its seats have been cut from 10,000 to 5,000. The move was necessitated after a few passengers tested Covid-19 positive on landing in Oman and has been implemented from November 9.
Moreover, while Air India will be operating with 5,000 seats, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet have been asked to stop their flight operations to and from Oman.
A senior ministry official confirmed the development. “Civil Aviation Authority of Oman had sent an email to the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) on October 29, informing it that the capacity of the air bubble agreement will be limited to 5,000 seats per week for the airlines of each country with effect from November 9. Accordingly, MoCA allocated Air India group (includes Air India Express) 5,000 seats from the said date, every week ,” said the official.
Top sources from the ministry also pointed out that the passenger load anyway failed to touch its maximum limit (of 10,000) on either side.
A DGCA official said on condition of anonymity that while India can operate flights to the Sultanate from any of its cities, the Omani airlines have given rights to operate flights only to 11 destinations in India. “Oman Air and Salam Air will continue to operate flights between Oman and India as part of the air bubble agreement,” said the DGCA official.
Recently, Hong Kong had banned Air India flights from Mumbai till Hong Kong for the fourth time, after few passengers on its flight in October tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival. Previous bans were on the airline’s Delhi-Hong Kong flights from September 20 to October 3, August 18 to August 31 and October 17 to October 30.