Wednesday, December 06
02:29 AM

Dhofar gears up for khareef tourism boom


Muscat – Salalah Airport is all set for an influx of travellers with a projected over 2,670 flights to touch down on its tarmac during the khareef season 2023.

Eng Zakariya bin Yaqoub al Harasi, Executive Vice President of Oman Airports at Salalah Airport, revealed that this impressive number comprises 1,456 domestic flights and 1,223 international flights expected from June 21 to September 21 this year.

The Royal Directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik for making available direct fuel price subsidies at Salalah Airport, matching those at Muscat International Airport, will result in a surge of air traffic at Salalah Airport, Harasi asserted.

“The Royal Directives exemplify His Majesty’s diligent oversight, and his unwavering commitment to reinvigorating travel and tourism in Dhofar governorate,” he went on adding.

The increase in flights, Harasi said, was expected from existing operators as well as new airlines introduced recently. Potential introduction of new airlines in the region is expected to foster healthy competition in both civil flights and air freight sectors.

In collaboration with strategic partners, Harasi disclosed that Salalah Airport is actively preparing to receive tourists for the ensuing khareef season. The airport is projected to receive 1,077 direct flights originating from various capitals and cities across the GCC countries.

Giving a breakdown of the number of expected flights from key GCC nations, Harasi informed that there will be 536 direct flights from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Notably, Wizz Air and Air Arabia will operate 87 and 93 flights respectively from Abu Dhabi, while Air Arabia will operate an additional 175 direct flights from Sharjah Airport.

Dubai-based flydubai will offer 181 direct flights from Dubai Airport.

Salalah Airport is also set to receive 188 flights from Saudi Arabia, courtesy flynas. They will originate from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and Buraidah.

Qatar Airways will provide 270 direct flights from Hamad International Airport on the outskirts of Doha in Qatar.
Kuwait International Airport will have 83 direct flights, which include 57 by Jazeera Airways and 26 by Kuwait Airways.

Moreover, Salalah will receive 40 flights from Air India Express and 54 from Pakistan Air.

“The airport has already witnessed a notable 43.1% increase in the number of international and domestic flights as of January 2023. The total number of flights reached an impressive 774, carrying over 105,719 passengers,” Harasi informed.

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