Oman sees boost in direct flights to Salalah
Dubai, May 6, 2013
Salalah, which saw a 25 per cent rise in air passenger arrivals during 2012, will see a boost in non-stop flights from Muscat, the UAE and Qatar this summer, said a senior Omani government official.
“Salalah is undergoing a remarkable transformation from a seasonal destination associated with the Salalah Tourism Festival to the year-round destination of choice for leisure, nature and adventure travel from the GCC,” added Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Oman’s Minister of Tourism.
“It is a unique and beautiful part of Arabia with a temperate climate year-round. Improved air services are stimulating travel demand and investment in new accommodation and services. The tourism outlook for Southern Oman is very exciting.”
The coming summer sees the largest ever increase in air operating capability to Salalah with:
• Oman Air increasing flights from Dubai and Muscat
• Starting from May 23, FlyDubai will commence four Boeing 767 services per week from Dubai
• Air Arabia increasing to six flights per week from its Sharjah hub
• Qatar Airways launching four Airbus A320 services per week from Doha on May 23
These services will deliver an additional 1,600 seats per week approximately.
The improved connections to the Dubai and Doha aviation hubs will accelerate Salalah’s position as a year-round leisure, nature and adventure market for GCC and international travelers, said Al Mahrizi.
Salalah is a popular destination for northern winter charter flights from Sweden but the expansion of Air Arabia’s profile and the entry of FlyDubai and Qatar Airways are expected to increase travel demand from wider network source markets, he added.
In this regard, as part of its inaugural service to Salalah, Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Qatar Airways are co-sponsoring a major European trade and media familiarization tour to Salalah.
“The Ministry will lead the formation of a Destination Salalah Campaign Committee. It is vital to involve Salalah’s tourism stakeholders in the review and development of destination branding, trade and consumer campaigns and work collaboratively to maximize marketing benefits,” added Al Mahrizi.
The 2013 Arab Aviation and Media Summit hosted by Air Arabia will take place in Salalah on June 2 and 3. The summit is expected to attract around 150 delegates. – TradeArabia News Service