The Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman.
Oman has confirmed that it will reopen its airports to international passenger flights on October 1.
The decision was announced by Oman’s Supreme Committee in a statement earlier this week.
“We are happy to declare that the Sultanate of Oman Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 has announced the plan to start easing air traffic restrictions and will gradually lift lockdown measures, steadily returning to regular life after months of observing all containment measures to safeguard against the vicious virus,” said the statement.
Flights were suspended from Oman’s airports at the end of March, although both foreign and domestic airlines were allowed to repatriate expatriates in Oman to their home country. Airlines were also permitted to bring Omani citizens back to the sultanate.
Muscat International Airport is currently operating limited, residents-only flights to regional destinations. According to Usama Al Haremi, senior manager of corporate communications and media at Oman Air, the national airline has set up “an enormous plan” to restart its operations to “many destinations around the world.”
Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, will return on October 1 with flights to 16 cities in 12 countries. The airline will connect Muscat with London, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Cairo, Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi, Dubai, Doha, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Lahore and Islamabad. More destinations will be added in the future, according to the airline. However, flights to India are subject to Indian authorities lifting flight restrictions.
The airline will require all passengers to wear masks both on board and in the airport. Cabin crew will wear a full set of personal protective equipment, there will be a modified meal service and aircraft will be fully cleaned between flights.
Between January and May, three-and-a-half million passengers travelled through Oman international airport, compared with more than seven million in the same period over the previous year.
Oman has reported 87,328 cases of coronavirus and 734 deaths and there are currently around 3,500 active cases. Oman has a population of nearly five million.