Oman to Build Six New Airports; Launch New Low-Cost Airline

30.05.2024 Aviation & Space
Oman to Build Six New Airports; Launch New Low-Cost Airline

Oman to Build Six New Airports; Launch New Low-Cost Airline

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Oman is set to build six new airports, which are expected to begin operations between 2028 and 2029, according to Naif bin Ali al Abri, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority.

In an interview with Al Sharq on the sidelines of the Future Aviation Forum which concluded in Riyadh last week, Abri said the consulting designs for the new airports have begun this year, Muscat Daily reported.

Through this planned expansion, Oman aims to increase the number of airports in the country to 13, facilitating domestic aviation and bolstering tourism, he added.

The CAA Chairman asserted that with the completion of these projects, Oman anticipates a significant surge in airport passenger traffic, projected to reach 50 million by 2040 from the current 17 million.

The upcoming airports are strategically planned to attract more international traffic and bolster logistics and tourism in specific regions. These new facilities will connect passengers with Oman’s industrial areas in Sohar, Salalah and Duqm.

Talking about National Aviation Strategy 2040, Abri said before the pandemic in 2019, the Cabinet approved the National Aviation Strategy 2030.

“Following the pandemic, we focused on heavily restructuring the aviation sector and dismantling our holding structure and various companies,” he pointed out.

“CAA took additional responsibilities of building airports and overseeing all related infrastructure. Given the change in forecasts for tourism beyond the pandemic, CAA decided to review its 2030 strategy and extend its targets to 2040.”

The strategy involves multiple facets beyond just airports and commercial airlines, training and traditional operations. “Today we are talking about many new issues, such as implementing new technologies such as drones; attracting and accommodating private aviators including amphibious airplanes or sea airplanes; positioning our airports as logistics centers; and perhaps starting a new airline. All these aspects are included in the new National Aviation Strategy 2040.”

CAA, in cooperation with 60 local entities, worked for eight months to approve the 2040 strategy, the chairman highlighted.

Meanwhile, in a major boost to Oman’s aviation sector, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced a ‘promising investment opportunity’ for launching a new low-cost airline in the Sultanate.

This initiative is part of Oman’s broader strategy to expand its aviation industry and increase its attractiveness to both investors and travellers.

According to a CAA statement, this move is designed to ‘shape the future of air travel in Oman’ and contribute to the transformation journey of the aviation industry within the region.

The authority has expressed its intention to license a new airline that will capitalise on Oman’s strategic location and its rapidly growing air traffic facilitated by its award-winning modern airports.

Oman’s modern infrastructure, including recently upgraded airports, position it as an ideal base for a low-cost carrier that could serve not only domestic routes but also connect to broader regional and international networks.

SalamAir is the first low-cost carrier based in Oman. Established by JSC Muscat National Development & Investment Company (ASAAS), SalamAir flies to over 38 destinations around the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Sub-Continent, Europe, and more. (Al Sharq; Muscat Daily; Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); SalamAir; Photo © CAA)



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