So­har Air­port emerges third hub for in­ter­na­tional air­lines op­er­at­ing in Oman

Muscat Daily - - RENAISSANCE DAY -

So­har Air­port be­came the third hub for in­ter­na­tional air­lines in the coun­try af­ter Mus­cat and Salalah with the launch of in­ter­na­tional flights by Air Ara­bia on July 9. The air­port will now also serve as lo­cal al­ter­na­tive des­ti­na­tion for any emer­gency sit­u­a­tions at Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

An­other in­ter­na­tional air­line, Qatar Air­ways has also con­firmed the launch of its flights to So­har from Au­gust 8. The air­line will start its new ser­vice be­tween Doha and So­har with three weekly flights. Oman’s first low cost car­rier SalamAir started thrice weekly Salalah to So­har flights from June 28.

The Air Ara­bia flight G9237 from Shar­jah landed at around 8.40am on July 9, mak­ing it the first in­ter­na­tional com­mer­cial flight to touch down in the city. The air­line started with three flights a week ser­vice to So­har from Shar­jah.

With the launch, Oman Air­ports Man­age­ment Com­pany (OAMC) stated that So­har Air­port is the new gate­way in Oman, and will act as an al­ter­na­tive des­ti­na­tion for any ex­i­gen­cies at Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port. “So­har Air­port will be the lo­cal al­ter­na­tive in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions at Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port,” OAMC said.

Mo­hammed bin Nasser al Zaabi, CEO of the Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Civil Avi­a­tion (PACA), in a tweet stated, “This is start of the first in­ter­na­tional flight to So­har Air­port and fol­lowed by an­other soon, God will­ing. Best wishes and good luck to Air Ara­bia.”

Zaabi was re­fer­ring to Qatar Air­ways, which will start its ser­vice be­tween Doha and So­har with three-weekly flights be­gin­ning Au­gust 8.

OAMC said that So­har Air­port started op­er­a­tions on Novem­ber 18, 2014 with the launch of Oman Air flight from Mus­cat (now sus­pended) and the air­port will be able to re­ceive 250,000 pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally when the new ter­mi­nal is ready.

Larsen & Toubro (Oman) was awarded the RO36mn third phase contract at the end of 2015. The scope of work in­cludes the con­struc­tion of a pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal build­ing, as well as a ded­i­cated cargo ter­mi­nal build­ing ca­pa­ble of han­dling around 50,000 tonnes of air freight per an­num.

The new route com­ple­ments Air Ara­bia’s ex­ist­ing flights to Mus­cat and Salalah, boosts travel and trade op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Oman and the UAE, and pro­vides has­sle-free travel op­tions to the res­i­dents of So­har, the air­line said in a state­ment.

In a boost to flight op­er­a­tions at So­har Air­port and to the par­tic­i­pat­ing air­lines, PACA on July 10 ap­proved an ex­tra flight for both SalamAir and Air Ara­bia. With the ap­proval, both SalamAir and Air Ara­bia are en­ti­tled to fly four flights a week to So­har.

“The au­thor­ity to­day is­sued its ap­proval to add a fourth weekly flight to So­har from next week for SalamAir and Air Ara­bia, from Salalah and Shar­jah (re­spec­tively),” PACA stated.

Zaabi said that the growth prospects for So­har were en­cour­ag­ing. “In­crease in flights to and from So­har is a good in­di­ca­tor of growth de­mand and in­creased pas­sen­ger traf­fic. We look for­ward to more,” he said.

SalamAir started its fourth flight from July 16. The other three flights op­er­ate on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days.

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