The spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to some sort of panic among expatriates in Oman. Many expatriates are cancelling their trips because of the fear of not being allowed back in Oman if there is travel embargo.
While Oman Air and Kuwait Airways have stopped operations to some countries, there are fears that other regional airlines may follow suit and extend to some more countries.
Lovel Balakrishnan, an Indian businessman based in Al Khuwayr, said, “I wanted to go to India to meet my family and attend a wedding ceremony but what if flights to Oman get cancelled, I will be stuck there. So, I have postponed my trip.”
Another Indian expatriate Mohammad Kaleem said that he mostly travels via Oman Air to visit the southern state of Kerala which has recorded some COVID-19 cases. “What if the airline decides to cancel flights to the state? This is not a favourable time to travel.”
Abid, a Pakistani national added, “My wife was supposed to travel to Karachi last week to attend a wedding but Thai Airways informed us that all flights till March 31 have been cancelled because of COVID-19 outbreak.”
Robiullah Alam, who was supposed to travel to Dhaka this weekend said that he has cancelled his travel. “I fear that flights would be cancelled and I won’t be able to join work in Oman. It would have affected my children’s classes as well.”