Sitting along one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Salalah Airport, certified as a 5-Star Regional Airport, welcomed on Saturday, June 15th, Gulf Air’s seasonal direct commercial flight from Bahrain’s capital, Manama, as part of the summer flight schedule and the upcoming introduction of the autumn season.
Salem AL Yafie, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Salalah Airport, said: “We are delighted to see Gulf Air’s seasonal flights being re-added to our growing list of carriers operating at Salalah Airport. This marks an important milestone for Salalah Airport as it continues to expand operations and as flight and passenger activity continues growing rapidly on a yearly basis.”
He added: This accomplishment is fundamentally the direct result of the effort and collaboration of our dedicated Commercial Operations Unit and other units across Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Group, in coordination with our strategic partners, to promote Salalah Airport and its service options and sustainability accomplishments on an equal footing with the other six airports operated by Oman Airports. Gulf Air is a highly recognized airline in the region and the operation of this flight through Salalah Airport will definitely be a critical contribution to our efforts in stimulating further air route expansions to broaden the airport’s network and offer more travel options to our passengers.
The direct flights operated by Gulf Air will definitely boost the tourist activity between Dhofar Governorate and the Kingdom of Bahrain and will contribute to increasing connectivity for passengers flying from Salalah to the other destinations operated by Gulf Air. He said that Gulf Air will be operating three weekly flights - for the period between June 15 and September 14 - connecting Salalah Airport to Manama, Bahrain. He added, “We hope that this route will continue to operate after the autumn season to attract more tourists to Salalah, especially that Gulf Air covers many destinations around the world, which will contribute in promoting Salalah as a rich tourist destination. The tourism movement in Salalah is witnessing a growth in the number of tourists visiting the city from different European countries during the autumn and winter seasons.
Salalah is an important tourist destination for Gulf tourists in particular and the expatriates living in the Gulf. A major season for visitors to Salalah is the khareef, which extends from June to September, when the monsoon visits the shores of Dhofar providing a welcome respite from soaring temperatures elsewhere in the Gulf. Furthermore, international tourist arrivals continue to flow in the winter season from October to April, with a large increase in tourists visiting from Europe.
Commenting on this achievement, Al Yafei said: “Salalah Airport is a vital asset to our aviation industry, being the winner of a number of international awards for its contribution to the development of passengers, airline and cargo services. This demonstrates Oman Airports’ commitment to keep pace with the rapid growth in order to compete with the major regional and international airports, with the objective of setting Salalah Airport to be the fastest growing airport in the coming years.
Mr. Vincent Coast, Head of Commercial Aviation Sector, said: “In response to the increasing wishes expressed by our clients and passengers to facilitate their access to Salalah in order to enjoy the summer season activities and moderate temperature, we are delighted to announce that we have resumed our direct flights to Salalah - one of the most famous summer destinations in the region. We will offer our passengers the opportunity to visit this beautiful city and enjoy its weather and breathtaking scenic landscape with three direct flights a week between Bahrain and Salalah starting from today and until mid-September.”
It is worth noting that Salalah Airport received 2019 Skytrax Award for achieving a 5-star rating in the regional airports’ category, making it the first regional airport in the Middle East and the world’s fourth highest-ranking airport in this category. The award was received earlier this year at Skytrax Awards ceremony in London.
In its first participation in the Airports Council International (ACI) passenger satisfaction survey, Salalah Airport scored the 8th globally among 71 airports in the category of 2 million travelers.
Salalah airport witnessed a rise of 2.7% in the number of passengers by the end of March 2019. The number of passengers traveling through the airport reached 339,706 passengers. The number of flights stood at 2,774 flights with a rise of 5.6% compared to the same period in the previous year.