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Emotions rule as Muscat welcomes its new airport terminal, bids adieu to the old one
March 20, 2018 | 10:57 PM
by Times News service
With the last plane, an Oman Air flight to Zurich, having left at 2.30pm, the old Muscat International Airport officially closed at 3pm on Tuesday while the first flight to depart from the new terminal was is a Boeing 737 to Salalah. Photo-ONA
 
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Muscat: The dawn of a new era in the aviation history of Oman, with the opening of the new Muscat International Airport, was also the sunset, of sorts, for the old terminal, which served the Sultanate and its guests for many years.

With the last plane, an Oman Air flight to Zurich, having left at 2.30pm, the old Muscat International Airport officially closed at 3pm on Tuesday.

“It’s somewhat of an emotional moment for us, as we have been operating flights to Zurich for around three to four years now, and have seen the old airport grow in its own vicinity. We have made some great memories and shared incredible experiences that can’t be forgotten,” said Shoaib Abdul Waheeb, Ground Handling Coordinator at Oman Air.

“Having said that, we are more than proud and thrilled to be moving to the new airport ,where the experience is going to be more memorable.”



The first flight to arrive and the first flight to depart from the new airport terminal were both Oman Air flights.

“The first flight to depart from the new airport is a 737, and it is a full flight going to Salalah”, said Salim Amanulla, VP of airport operations, Oman Air.

While the first flight to arrive at the new airport was an Oman Air flight from New Delhi, which landed in Muscat at 5.30pm. “We were scheduled to have the first flight from Najaf, Iraq, but now the first flight would be the flight from Delhi,” he said.

Furthermore, another duty officer at the old airport was seen taking pictures of her now-former desk, where she spent eight hours a day for a year. “I am going through a series of mixed feelings. I have spent a great time working at the old airport, and have always felt it was my second home.”

The response from people arriving at and departing from the new airport has been “Wow”, according to Salim. “Frankly, I’ve been here more than 25 times, and everytime I come I feel proud to have such an airport as my work environment”, he said.

The passengers were as excited as the authorities and other officials about the opening of the new airport. “I’ve been waiting for this moment eagerly”, said Salim Al Rabbi, one of the passengers to fly on the first flight departing from the new airport.

“I’m really happy to be on the first flight heading to Salalah, and can’t wait to see and experience all the procedures”. He added, “I’m expecting the procedures to be much easier than the previous ones”.

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