CHENNAI: Uncertainty and panic pervades the minds of air travellers in the wake of the threat caused by the new Covid variant Omicron.
People who have flown to India from the middle-east and other countries are mulling of returning before any travel bans are imposed.
For instance, a kin of my friend who came to Kerala with his family from Kuwait for a one month holiday now wants to return back as quickly as possible. He fears his work will be affected. Moreover, his wife works as a nurse in Kuwait and their two children study there.
"We're planning to return in the next few days," he told The New Indian Express, despite it just being a fortnight since they landed in Kochi, that too after a gap of two years.
GP Govarthanan of Rengha Holidays & Tourism Pvt Ltd, Chennai, said "generally speaking, international tourism remains affected since the past two years due to Covid-19 pandemic."
"We're badly hit. For instance, in March 2020, 1,500 tickets got cancelled and we had to pay from our own pockets to compensate the passengers since flight companies refused to pay us in cash instead asking us to sett tickets and deduct it," Govarthanan said.
"Lately, we have been focusing on domestic tourism. But, this year domestic tourism was also hit due to the heavy rains witnessed in Tamil Nadu," he noted.
Abdul Azeez of New Rahamath Tours and Travels in Madurai said, " as of now, since we hear that the new variant is detected in South Africa, there is no panic like situation here. But we don't know how things would pan out in a week from now."