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Oman’s aviation sector soars to 70% recovery from pre-pandemic slump

Al-Abri disclosed that Oman had signed 122 contracts, 66 of which were Open Skies agreements

Due to a 70% increase in airport operations from 2019 levels, Oman’s aviation industry is on the verge of surpassing its pre-pandemic records.

According to Nayef Al-Abri, the head of the nation’s Civil Aviation Authority, air traffic in the sultanate has increased significantly over the previous few months and is anticipated to rise exponentially in the next months to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

This development comes as the authority is eager to grow airline operations and cooperation with numerous nations in the aviation industry to assist economic, social, and tourism activities.

The kingdom experienced a remarkable 30.3 per cent increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2023, with 1.98 million people utilizing the sultanate’s airports as opposed to 842,800 during the same time last year, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Additionally, there was an increase in air traffic, which increased by 28.4% to 9,784 flights by June 2023. When compared to the 7,622 flights registered during the same period in 2022, this indicates a significant recovery.

According to Al-Abri, the nation has signed a number of bilateral agreements in the aviation industry in an effort to control the provision of air transportation services.

He disclosed that Oman had signed 122 contracts, 66 of which were Open Skies agreements.

The authority is looking to sign three additional agreements, which are presently the subject of talks, the president said in addition.

There are about 40 operating firms that serve the Muscat, Salalah, and Sohar airports in the Sultanate of Oman, and he continued, “We expect to attract the maximum number in the upcoming term.”

According to a press briefing by Al-Abri in March, Muscat International Airport had an 87 per cent year-over-year increase in flights in 2022, reaching 76,392, and a 129 per cent increase in passenger counts, to record over 8.6 million people.

Revenues at the airport reached 72 million Omani rials ($188 million) in 2022, an increase of 58% year over year. Expenses rose by 1% to 221,000 rials.

In 2022, Sohar Airport recorded a 122 per cent increase in passenger volume and a 28 per cent increase in aviation traffic year over year. At Duqm Airport, however, there was a 21 per cent decrease in aircraft traffic despite a 37 per cent increase in passengers.

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