Muscat: Salalah Airport is expecting to welcome 4,000 travellers daily during the Khareef tourist season as many airline companies have increased trips to Salalah.
Salem bin Awad Al Yafie, Vice Chairman of Salalah Airport, said, “Salalah Airport, which recently received the 2019 Skytrax Award for achieving a 5-star rating in the regional airports’ category, is ready to welcome Dhofar’s visitors during Khareef tourist season this year, thanks to the efforts of its employees in different functions and roles.”
He added: “We expect around 3,000 to 4,000 travellers a day in arrivals and departures during khareef season, which will last until the end of September.
"God willing. Oman Airports, which is part of Oman Aviation Group, completed all preparations, in cooperation with its sister companies and the rest of its strategic partners to welcome tourists who will be visiting the governorate during the tourist season via local or regional airlines that operate direct flights towards Salalah Airport on a daily basis."
The total number of flights to Salalah every week has reached 179. Where eight major airlines, besides Royal Oman Police Aviation, are operating their flights through Salalah Airport: Oman Air, SalamAir, Qatar Airways, flydubai, Air Arabia, Air India, Gulf Air and Etihad Airways.
Al Yafie added, "This is especially true after the launch of Gulf Air’s direct flights from Manama airport in our sister country, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the upcoming inauguration, this week, of Etihad Airways' direct flights from Abu Dhabi, the capital of our sister country, the United Arab Emirates. SalamAir also started to run two direct flights from Kuwait and three from Abu Dhabi, a commendable and worthy of appreciation step for our second national airline in promoting the tourist season. In total, the number of Salalah weekly flights reached 179."
Baggage carousel wait times to be under 15 minutes
Al Yafie said, “Salalah Airport took into account the increase of travel movement during the season. Every year, the airport plans its capacity and adequate resources at the highest levels to ensure a smooth travel experience for the governorate’s visitors and to welcome Salalah’s visitors from their very first arrival. It constitutes an essential part of our authentic welcoming process."
He said: "In fact, the number of personnel at the airport is greater than before with the increase of flights in order to put travelers at ease from the moment they touch down in Oman, until they leave. Everyone is working on facilitating the procedures, so nobody is delayed due to the busy activity, in addition to reducing the wait times at baggage carousel so it does not exceed 15 minutes.”
It is worth noting that the total number of passengers travelling through Salalah Airport by the end of April 2018 reached 442,059, a rise of 2 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Tourism services in Dhofar are expecting the number of visitors during Khareef season to reach around 1 million this year, whether from the Sultanate or outside, as a result of the exceptional weather in the governorate during the summer season. Dhofar is a destination for tourists who wish to spend their holiday amid beautiful nature and enjoy misty droplets every day. Last year 826,000 visitors came to Dhofar, an increase of 28,1 per cent compared to 2017.