Muscat: Data released by the National Ferries Company (NFC) showed an increase in the number of passengers on board the ferries to 122,699 passengers until the end of July 2016, constituting an increase of 22 per cent, up from 100,591 passengers in the same period of 2015.
NFC statistics showed that January 2016 saw the highest number of passengers at 23,544, followed by July, with 22,828 passengers, May with 18,638 passengers, while the number of transported passengers during April stood at 17,118, in March they reached 14,258 passengers, whereas in February it was 14,022 passengers and June recorded 12,291 passengers.
The statistics also indicated a surge in the total number of vehicles shipped onboard ferries until the end of July 2016, which was pegged at 29,849 vehicles, reflecting a 14 per cent jump, compared with 26,188 vehicles in the same period in 2015.
January 2016 also witnessed the highest number of shipped vehicles at 5,420 vehicles, followed by July with 5,206 vehicles, May by 4,759 vehicles, while the number of shipped vehicles during April reached 4,445, in March it was 3,485 vehicles. In February, shipped vehicles stood at 3,478 and in June they stood at 3,056.
The statistical bulletin showed that the (Shanna-Masirah) route recorded the highest proportion of passenger traffic until the end of July 2016 as the number of passengers, who travelled on this route were 92,445, with an occupancy rate of 45 per cent, comprising 75 per cent of the total passengers and recording a growth of 11 per cent, compared with a year ago.
As many as 26,820 vehicles were shipped onboard this route, with a 55 per cent occupancy rate, comprising 90 per cent of the total shipped vehicles on the route and recording a growth of 18 per cent when compared with the same period in 2015. The Diba-Lima route came in second, and recorded 12,129 passengers, with a 76 per cent occupancy rate.
The number of passengers on the Muscat—Khasab route reached 4,471, with a 53 per cent occupancy rate. The route also transported 1,198 vehicles, with an occupancy rate of 70 per cent, followed by the Khasab—Shinas route, which transported 5,394 passengers, with a 41 per cent occupancy rate.
The route transported 1,363 vehicles, with a 51 per cent occupancy rate. The Shinas—Diba—Khasab route transported 4,719 passengers and 451 vehicles. The total number of passengers transported by the Khasab—Lima route reached 2,417 and the Lima—Shinas route recorded 733 passengers.
At the regional level of Omani ferry voyages to Iranian ports, which were launched at the end of July 2016, the number of passengers on the first regional voyage Khasab—Qeshm route transported 120 passengers, in addition to transporting 202 passengers of the Iranian delegation that participated in the Omani-Iranian Exhibition held in the Wilayat of Khasab last January 2016.