Oman: Indian ex-patriate hope for end to air-bubble agreement

Muscat: The news of India’s ban on international flights until October end has dampened the Indian diaspora’s morale in Oman. Indians stuck in the country hope that the agreement with the air bubble does not go beyond the October deadline. Under the agreement, only designated carriers of the countries are allowed to operate.

A circular issued on September 29 this year extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights until the end of October. The circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also stated that the suspension does not affect the operation of all international cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it.

Although the ban applies to normal commercial operations, special flights operated by companies such as Oman Air, SalamAir, Air India and Air India Express are permitted when needed.

Speaking to, Mudassir Ahmed from Hyderabad has been postponing his travel plans for the past year. “The ambiguity caused by travel bans and countries closing borders at so short a time is continuing disturbing travel plans since last year.”

Flights between Oman and India are operated under the air bubble agreement. This agreement came into effect on October 1, 2020 and was initially valid till November 1, 2020 which has been extended since then.

Air bubble agreement is a temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.