With Salalah being the obvious choice for domestic tourists, air travel seems to be the preferred option. Road travel continues to be a cause of concern on the stretch which has reported four serious accidents in the last two months.
On average, air fares to Salalah have dropped this year with the arrival of a budget airline, but that is not the case for the Eid holidays that were announced early this week.
Starting from June 20, the minimum fares (light option) on SalamAir for Salalah shot up to RO 35 and then dropped to RO 16 towards the end of holidays. On the return Salalah-Muscat sector, fares start from RO 12 (light option), touching a maximum of RO 22 as of now.
The minimum economy class fares on Oman Air in the Muscat-Salalah sector starts from RO 30.
“If you are travelling with family, these fares are too high. Hotel tariffs are also on the higher side. But I have second thoughts about road travel too,” said Mohammed Manoor, who is not travelling outside Oman this summer.
Four accidents involving two public transport buses have been reported in the last two months on the risk-prone stretch between Adam and Thumrait, including loss of lives.
The accidents come at a time when the overall road accidents for May saw a 21.1 per cent decline to 1,604 compared with figures for the same period last year.
While it is tempting for motorists who prefer long drives, the general advisory is against the option if it is one person behind the wheels for the entire stretch. Last year, 20 people were killed within a month on the Adam-Thumrait stretch and casualties included women and children, and foreign nationals.
Nasser, a driver who works for a bus company operating on the route, said: “I feel private vehicles should avoid night travel. Instead, they should stop at hotels for a break. This is too risky for them and for other drivers like us.”
Vinod Nair –