International Goa News

Oman Air to double flights to India, connect Goa in 2015

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Muscat: The Sultanate's national carrier Oman Air is planning to start a new service between Muscat and Goa, a western Indian state, by next summer, a top-level official of the airline told journalists on Sunday.

The national carrier, which is embarking on a massive expansion programme to enhance fleet strength to 55 planes by 2017, plans to operate three weekly flights to Goa, which will go up to five eventually, using a 154-seater Boeing 737 aircraft.

The airline will fly to Goa when it gets new aircraft.

Oman Air also has plans to double its services to two flights a day (morning and night) between Muscat and various destinations in the Indian sub-continent, instead of a daily flight now.

"We are aspiring for more traffic rights to India to enable us to fly to every destination in India twice a day – morning and night. We now fly twice a day in Muscat-Mumbai, Muscat-Chennai and Muscat New Delhi sectors. We want to serve Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram twice a day," said Abdulrahman Al Busaidy, chief operating officer of Oman Air.

He said Oman secured 5,000 additional seats to India three years ago and the airline's proposed new service to Goa is from within the existing flying rights.  

Al Busaidy also noted that talks between Oman and Sri Lanka are scheduled for November in Colombo to double its flights from one daily flight in Muscat-Colombo sector to twice a day.

"We are also trying to double its flights to Kathmandu."

Further, plans are afoot to raise number of daily flights in Muscat-Dhaka route.

Oman Air is launching new services from Muscat to Manila, in the Philippines, and Jakarta, in Indonesia, from December 2014.

However, Oman Air CEO Paul Gregorowitsch said the airline is not planning to fly to cities in the United States.

Within the domestic sectors, plans are afoot to start operation between Muscat and Sohar by the end of the year.  

Besides replacing ATR planes with Embraer in Muscat-Khasab sector.

"But it requires upgrading (Khasab) airport facility."

Another proposal is to raise flights from Salalah airport, when the expanded airport facility gets ready by next year.

Oman Air plans to raise it flights from Salalah to Dubai, Muscat and Kuwait.

Fleet expansion
In the next 12 months, 16 new planes will join the airline's fleet.

Currently, Oman Air has a fleet strength of 31 aircraft.

The fleet expansion is part of a larger plan to strengthen the country's national carrier, at a time when two international airports – Muscat and Salalah – are about to complete expansion and three regional airports are getting ready to receive passengers.

The new aircraft will be a mix of both narrow body and wide-body planes.

Gregorowitsch said Boeing 787 Dreamliner will join the fleet by next year, although it got delayed by two years.

However, Oman Air does not have any concern due to the delay in getting the planes.

The airline is also looking at 787 900s, which will enable it to have large business class.

Gregorowitsch said Oman Air is investing in new aircraft, destinations, new products, new technology, call centres and people.

Oman Air, which incurred heavy losses last year, is hoping to achieve profit with additional investments by 2017.  

New operating model
Gregorowitsch said Oman Air is working on a new operating model, which will be introduced by January next year.

As per the new operating model, there will be more flights to European destinations, increase connectivity, efficiency and Oman Air will control international flights through Muscat airport.

For instance, passengers will find connecting flights to various destinations.

Also, there will be more flights to Riyadh and Jeddah to help those who go for Umrah in Saudi Arabia.  

There is also a plan to raise transit passengers coming to Muscat airport from 60 per cent to 70 per cent of total passenger traffic by 2017, after the new facilities are ready.

Gregorowitsch also said that there is a plan to create separate business units for different divisions within the airline, which include catering, cargo and ground handling.

Reporter can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bank guarantee must for Indian maids in Kuwait

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 To safeguard the welfare of its nationals, India has made it mandatory for employers in Kuwait to submit a bank guarantee of USD 2,500 before bringing a female domestic help to the Gulf nation.
A bank guarantee worth USD 2,500 (720 Kuwaiti Dinar) as security deposit would be submitted with the Indian embassy in Kuwait by the employer wishing to bring a female domestic worker from India to Kuwait, a statement released by the Indian embassy said on Friday.
The embassy cited instructions from the Government of India behind the move. The order was implemented with the immediate effect.
This measure is being taken to safeguard the welfare of female domestic workers in Kuwait, it said.
"The bank guarantee, provided by a bank in Kuwait, needs to be valid till such time the female domestic worker remains in Kuwait.
The Embassy will attest agreements for employment of female domestic workers in Kuwait once the above condition of Bank Guarantee is fulfilled," the statement said.
The total number of Indian expatriates in Kuwait is about 7.5 lakh, according to latest official figures. There are nearly 2.7 lakh employed in domestic sector, whereas about 3.6 lakh are deployed in private sector. There are about 1 lakh persons on dependent visas.  [H]

UK issues travel advisory for its citizens in Goa

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 The government of UK on Tuesday issued a travel advisory for its citizens vacationing in Goa about the strike by taxi drivers.

The advisory says the strike is affecting travel in and around Goa, including on the road to the airport and around major hotels. The UK tourists have been asked to avoid areas where protests are reported to be taking place and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities, as well as allow more time than usual to travel to the airport.

Since Monday, taxi drivers have kept their vehicles off the road protesting against a private car service that was introduced recently, in Goa.

On Monday, at many places -- in both districts vehicles carrying tourists were blocked. Calangute and Baga witnessed some violent incidents with taxi drivers resorting to violence. Though, no untoward incident was reported on Tuesday thanks to heavy deployment of police forces at various tourist spots, tourists were put to inconvenience for want of taxi transport, nonetheless.

Some hotels had cancellation of bookings due to the strike. Industry stake holders fear of losing more business in the coming days if the agitation by the taxi operators is not called off.

The industry stakeholders particularly hoteliers fear that the next tourist season will not be as good as this year as queries have already started pouring in from various foreign tour operators about the situation in the state. [TOI]


Directory on Goan Diaspora – Protection of properties regarding.

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Goans have been migrating to places within India and abroad from times immemorial.  The Goan Diaspora is spread across the continents of America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and U.K.   Whereas those based in Gulf countries are actual NRIs as they continue to be Indian citizens, most of the others who have migrated to Western Europe, UK, USA, Canada and Australia have taken up citizenship of the countries of their adoption, but by virtue of their Indian Origin, have acquired PIO/OCI card status which entitle them long term visa to India and enjoy parity with NRIs except in matters of acquisition of agriculture and plantation properties, Government employment / Constitutional posts and voting rights.
Nevertheless, Goans, wherever they are settled, cherish their Goanness with passion and pride and make it a point to visit the land of their ancestors as often as possible, retain and revive contacts with their kith and kin in Goa, and nurture in their hearts a strong pride of their Goan roots.
Lately, there have been instances where the landed properties owned by some of the NRIs and PIOs of Goan origin have been usurped by unscrupulous elements in their absence by manipulating the land records and executing fraudulent sale deeds.  
Against this background, the State Govt. is seriously contemplating enactment of a suitable legislation whereby the Govt. would offer to protect the landed properties of the interested NRIs and PIOs of Goan origin.   For this purpose, it is proposed to create a data bank of all the landed properties of NRIs and PIOs of Goan origin who are willing to register their properties with the Government.  This will enable the Registration Authorities to prevent manipulation of such land records and execution of fraudulent Sale deeds.
Your Association may like to bring to the notice of the members the above proposal and in case they are willing to register their landed properties (other than flats and shops) with the Government, the details of such property records with copies of Form I & XIV, etc may be forwarded to the Commissioner for NRI Affairs latest by 31st March 2014 at the following address :
The Commissioner for NRI Affairs
Government of Goa
Ministerial Complex,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa. 403521.
(U.D. Kamat)
Director for NRI Affairs

Please post your comments on my Blog:

Please also see below:
1. Benaulim Village Action Committee:
2. "Rape of Goa" :   
3. MAND - an adivasi-rights resource centre :
5. Goa's Identity Movement group on Facebook:
6. Official Government Site NRI Office (GOA):

Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies

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(CNN) -- Freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.

That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid.

He died Thursday night at age 95.

His message of reconciliation, not vengeance, inspired the world after he negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that imprisoned him.

"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison," Mandela said after he was freed in 1990.

Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.

Despite rare public appearances, he held a special place in the consciousness of the nation and the world.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," South African President Jacob Zuma said. "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."

His U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, echoed the same sentiment.

"We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth," Obama said. "He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages."


Memories of Yesteryear - Click Here



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