MUSCAT: January 17, 2017. Oman Airports reports a 20.4 percent increase in air cargo throughput to over 162,000 tonnes at Muscat in 2016. Salalah traffic fell nine percent year-on-year to just over 135,000 tonnes.
The Oman Airports Management Company noted that Salalah, as the second busiest seaport in the Middle East, is expected to develop sea-air transportation services with support from cargo stakeholders and consequently boost future airfreight volume.
New routes and destinations begun in 2016 included Oman Air's first Asian operation to Guangzhou, China; services to Najaf, Iraq and Mashad, Iran; plus a second daily frequency to London Heathrow.
The launch of long-haul low cost operations between Bangkok and Muscat by Thai Asia X prompted other airlines to start services including Regent Airways from Dhaka and Chittagong; US Bangla from Bangladesh and Pakistan International Airlines to Salalah from Lahore.
GCC countries accounted for 36 percent of O&D traffic followed by India and Europe with 36 percent and nearly 9 percent respectively. Transfer passenger traffic increased 30 percent at Muscat to nearly 4.95 million during the year.