Oman Airports see new records for growth
The number of passengers in Muscat International Airport exceeded 12 million passengers (+17%) in 2016. Salalah International Airport also broke its record – over 1,2 million passengers (+17%) resulting in increase in both domestic and international travel.
Additionally, flight movements increased double digits in Muscat International Airport by 8,5% exceeding 103 000 movements. Salalah International Airport had 10 313 flight movements respectively.
Oman Airports had new destinations and new route launches during the year when Oman Air started its first Asian operation to Guangzhou, China, new destination Najaf in Iraq and Mashad in Iran. The national airline added also 2nd daily frequency to London Heathrow. Additionally, new foreign airlines entered into the Omani market when Thai Air Asia X started its long-haul low cost operations between Bangkok and Muscat, Regent Airways started to operate from Dhaka and Chittagong, US Bangla also started to connect Oman and Bangladesh as well as Pakistan International Airlines launched a direct connection from Lahore to Salalah
Transfer traffic in Muscat International Airport increased by 30% reaching nearly 4,95 million transfer passengers strengthening the airport’s hub strategy. The biggest markets to/from Oman are GCC countries representing 36%, Indian subcontinent 36% and Europe by nearly 9%. In addition to Oman Air’s rapid growth especially in transfer traffic, major foreign carriers showed positive growth numbers in 2016.
Freight Transport at Muscat International Airport enjoyed positive growth of 20,4 %, where the cargo volumes in 2016 reached 162 thousand tons compared to 134 thousand tons in 2015. Salalah has a favorable geographic position e.g. the 2nd busiest sea port in the Middle-East and it is expected that by enhanced collaboration with cargo stakeholders to develop e.g. sea-air transportation services, airfreight volume will be back on growth path in coming years.