Muscat: Eurowings, the low cost airline based in Germany, will be operating two charter flights each week to Salalah in Oman beginning in October.
Speaking to Times of Oman, Heinz Joachim Schöttes, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications at Eurowings, said the company will only operate charter flights. “We will be flying them for our tour operators from Cologne,” he noted, speaking from Düsseldorf, Germany.
The arrival of Eurowings comes as Qatar Airways and Flydubai are scheduling more flights from Doha and Dubai, respectively, to meet the demand during the popular Khareef season,from June 1 to September 30, 2016.
“So we can see that the end of Khareef is not the end of the tourism season in Salalah. Just when Khareef ends, German visitors begin coming to Salalah,” Lohithakshan Kizhakkayil, a travel consultant at New Star International Travel and Tours LLC, said.
As the capital of Oman’s Dhofar region, Salalah is known as the Sultanate’s ‘Second City’.
It is renowned for its annual monsoon season, known as the Khareef, which sees the desert landscape transform into lush green expanses from June to August each year.
During this peak period, the number of visitors to Salalah triples, in comparison to the rest of the year. Additionally, the annual Khareef festival celebrates the rainy season and draws thousands of visitors.
Salalah is famous for its unique tourist sites, which include fruit plantations and banana groves, beaches lined with coconut palms, vibrant local culture with souqs and Omani handicrafts, and a myriad of archaeological sites displaying the Sultanate’s rich and prosperous history.
The city and its surroundings are also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking adventure, with wadis, sinkholes and reefs to explore, along with wild animals, such as turtles, gazelles, elusive Arabian leopards and more to discover. “For the last few years, we have been having regular visitors from Austria and Switzerland, but with the arrival of Eurowings, we will be hosting regular visitors from Germany,” the official said.
Besides new tours and excursions, tourists are now offered activities, such as Omani cooking classes, so they can experience the real tastes of Oman, its culture and heritage, with a focus on Dhofar Governorate.
Also, activities including fishing competitions and henna and tattoo nights,have been planned for guests. “Making the Governorate of Dhofar the focus of one of the leading international tourism events, and bringing a host of industry experts to experience its unique offerings for leisure and business tourists, are vital steps towards the expansion and diversification of the tourism industry in Oman,” the expert opined.