Muscat International Airport and Salalah International Airport, Oman have announced strong passenger growth for the 2015 calendar year.
For the first time in their history, Muscat International Airport exceeded ten million passengers in 2015, an 18 percent increase, and served one million passengers in the month of August, a milestone which was also reached for the first time. Flight movements for the airport were up 15 per cent, exceeding 95,000. Muscat International also strengthened its hub strategy, with a significant 32 percent increase in transfer traffic; to almost 3.8 million passengers.
Passenger traffic at Muscat International has increased rapidly in recent years, as passenger numbers have more than doubled since 2009, when the airport served 4,556,502 passengers for the calendar year. General Manager Commercial Operations, Sheikh Samer Al Nabhani believes the increased traffic is attributed to the “different passenger mix”.
During the past calendar year, Muscat International announced new routes including services to Singapore and Goa. In November, the airport announced new routes to Iran – a service to Tehran, with one flight every two weeks through Caspian Airline and one flight a week to Kish Island through Kish Airline.
The reinvented Salalah International Airport, opened in 2015, broke its own historic traffic record by surpassing the one million passenger mark, an increase of 22 percent. Flight movements also increased by 21 percent, reaching almost 9,000 movements. As tourism is expected to increase steadily over the next 20 years into this region of Oman, Salalah International’s new airport will be able to cater to future demand growth to six million annual passengers.
The record performance in 2015 at Oman’s airports was mainly driven by the rapid growth of national carrier Oman Air, which also added two new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to its fleet during the calendar year. However, it was not alone in reporting strong growth as Air India, flydubai, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines also recorded double-digit increases in traffic during the year.
The biggest markets being served from Oman are Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with a 37 percent share, the Indian subcontinent making up 35 percent and supported by the strong migrant worker flows in and out of the country, and Europe with nearly ten per cent.