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Çarşamba, 7 Aralık 2022

Salalah Airport receives first Pakistan International Airlines flight from Sialkot.

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Oman Airports’ Salalah Airport received on Monday, 31 October 2022, the first Pakistan International Airlines flight scheduled to operate one weekly flight every Monday between Salalah Airport and Pakistan’s Sialkot Airport.

Arriving at Salalah Airport, the inaugural Pakistan International Airlines flight was welcomed with a traditional water salute by Oman Airports.

In December 2016, Pakistan International Airlines launched its first direct bi-weekly flights to Salalah Airport from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport. However, these flights were subsequently halted in the proceeding period.

These latest Pakistan International Airlines flights are set to further enhance the presence of Salalah Airport on the international aviation map, while facilitating easier travel for the Pakistani community residing in Salalah and the Dhofar Governorate.

The flights will also assist in promoting tourism in the Governorate by providing the opportunity for direct arrival of Pakistani travelers into Salalah – without the need to stop over in Oman’s capital Muscat before reaching their final destination.

Salim bin Awad al Yafei, Executive Vice President of Salalah Airport, welcomed the return of Pakistan International Airlines flights from Sialkot International Airport to Salalah Airport. Speaking about the new schedule, the Executive Vice President emphasized that these direct flights between Salalah Airport and other international airports provide great convenience for travelers in both countries, as there is no requirement to stop in transit.

“Salalah Airport recently began welcoming a growth in the number of direct international flight, which contributes to enhancing tourism and economic activity both in the Dhofar Governorate, and in the destination countries that these airlines fly to,” Mr. Al Yafei added.

Mr. Al Yafei pointed out that during this year’s autumn season, Salalah Airport witnessed a significant increase in the number of arriving and departing flights, which reached 3,385 in total – an increase of about 49% compared to the same period last year.

This indicated that the month of August this year witnessed the highest average number of flights per week for the airport, at a rate of 352 flights.

Salalah Airport is also witnessing the return of various international charter flights from Europe, which serves to increase tourism inflow into the Dhofar Governorate. European passengers can expect eight direct flights a week to Salalah Airport from Slovakia, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic, from October 2022 until early March 2023. This will align with Oman’s autumn and winter tourism seasons typically seeing a large influx of European tourists coming to spend their vacation in Salalah and Dhofar.

It is worth noting that the number of passengers passing through Salalah Airport during this year’s autumn tourism season reached 463,848 passengers between 21 June and 21 September. This was an increase of 46% compared to the same period last year.

Salalah Airport also recorded a significant 95.3% increase in the number of international and domestic flights, with the number of flights through the airport reaching 4,601 by the end of last July.

The number of international flights through Salalah Airport increased by 201.9%, while the number of domestic flights recorded a rise of 52.9% to 2,578 flights, compared to 1,686 flights during the same period in 2021.

Moreover, the number of passengers on domestic arriving and departing flights via Salalah Airport increased by 68.2% until the end of last July, compared to the same period of 2012.

At the recent Airports Council International Awards held in the Polish city of Kraków on the sidelines of the World CX Summit 2022, Salalah Airport was honored to be awarded the “Best Airport in the Middle East” title in the Quality of Services category.

Salalah Airport was also awarded the ‘Third Best Airport in the Middle East” title for Safety Procedures During the Covid-19 Pandemic (between 2020 and 2022).

Salalah Airport also ranked ninth in the Airport Service Quality Classification category for airports with fewer than two million passengers per year. In 2019, Salalah Airport ranked fourth in the same category.

It is worth noting that the new Salalah Airport was inaugurated on 11 November 2015. It is a qualitative addition to the civil aviation sector in the Sultanate of Oman, not only in terms of its advanced facilities and equipment, operating capabilities, and the increasing number of passengers arriving in the Dhofar Governorate each year; but also due to its proven capability to keep pace with future expansion.

This makes Salalah Airport a vital economic, tourism, and investment entity in the Dhofar Governorate.

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