Oman Airports witnessed impressive passenger growth at both its Muscat and Salalah international airports last year, as well as at its regional hub in Sohar.
Muscat International Airport welcomed more than 14 million travellers, representing a 17 per cent rise on 2016, while Salalah International Airport broke records with more than 1.5 million travellers entering the facility. This brought forth a 24 per cent jump on the previous year.
Flight movements increased by 11 per cent at Muscat International Airport, exceeding 114,000 movements, while Salalah International Airport witnessed 14,381 flight movements, representing an impressive 40 per cent rise on the previous year’s figures.
Oman Airports also celebrated the launch of new destinations and routes during the year; Oman Air introduced flights to Nairobi, Kenya and Manchester, and launched a direct Salalah-Kolkata, India. Adding to this, Oman’s first low-cost carrier, SalamAir, which launched last year, introduced domestic flights between Salalah and Muscat as well as international routes to the UAE, the KSA and Pakistan. SalamAir was also the very first carrier to operate to and from Sohar Airport, connecting Salalah and Sohar.
Moving on, transfer traffic at Muscat International Airport rose by 33 per cent, exceeding 6.44 million transfer passengers.
In terms of markets, the GCC and Indian Subcontinent represented the largest and most significant markets to Oman Airports throughout 2017, both contributing 35 per cent, followed by Europe (10 per cent).
Last year, Qatar Airways boosted flights frequencies to both Muscat and Salalah, and began operating to Sohar Airport providing connections to, from and via Doha. Air Arabia represented the third airline to introduce flights to Sohar Airport in 2017.
Within its first six months, Sohar Airport’s traffic stood at 113,000 passengers and 782 aircraft movements.