Muscat: Travel agents are rolling out plans for passengers who wish to fly to Oman from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, by routing them through another country, where they will be quarantined before travelling onwards.
Under this plan, a number of countries – including Sri Lanka, Qatar, Nepal, and Bahrain – had been considered, although the first option turned out to be the most viable.
Passengers who opt to travel using these routes must first complete the quarantine regulations in their transit country, according to local laws, after which they will be able to fly to Oman, and then enter quarantine again, in line with the rules in the Sultanate.
“Expat communities have started approaching their respective travel coordinators to find solutions for incoming passengers through alternate routes during the current impasse,” said Shyama Prasad Kallat, head of commercial operations for Mezoon Travel.
“Agents have started devising various routes and packages to meet this particular demand to facilitate movement from the Indian subcontinent,” he added.
“It was important we developed timely solutions, and more and more people have begun enquiring about these rates. We will be incorporating more options soon.”
Travellers are also likely to prefer Sri Lanka as a location from which to travel to Oman, because of frequent flights operated by carriers such as Sri Lankan Airlines, Oman Air, and SalamAir.
“We are currently operating three flights a week to Colombo, which will help passengers coming to Oman,” said a senior official at Oman Air.
Quarantine packages for Sri Lanka include a two-week hotel accommodation in an air-conditioned room, meals, transfers to and from the airport, taxes, and COVID-19 insurance.
It also includes two COVID-19 tests for all passengers: one taken on arrival, and the second 10 to 14 days after entry into the country.
A 15-night package begins at $980 per head (OMR380) for a single room, $585 (OMR225) for double rooms, and $505 (OMR195) for a room shared by three people. Rates for children between the ages of five and 12 begin at $245 (OMR95).
However, children between two and five years old need only pay for the exit PCR test, charged at $40 (OMR15), and insurance worth $12 (OMR5). In the case of infants, only the cost of COVID insurance needs to be paid.
An extra charge beginning at $40 (OMR15.5) is levied, in case the airline on which the passenger is travelling to Oman requires an additional PCR test.
Choosing Sri Lanka as a transit point for passengers flying from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh was also seen as positive by Faiyaz Khan, senior manager for Travel Point.