Oman Airports Records 9.8m Passengers Traffic in 2022


Muscat: Oman airports saw a surge in traffic in the past year with the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), recording a total number of 9,876,762 passengers, arriving, departing and transiting, by the end of 2022.

Muscat International Airport turned out to be one of the favourites for Indian travellers as they topped the list of passengers flying through the airport.

According to NCSI, a total of 147,032 Indian travellers used Muscat International Airport for arriving, departing and transiting by the end of December 2022. They were followed by Bangladesh travellers with 53,130 and Pakistan nationals (39,853).

The number of incoming and outgoing international flights through Muscat, Salalah and Sohar airports increased by 128 percent and hit a mark of 65,220 flights by the end of December 2022.

During the same period in 2021, the total was 28,580, largely due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of arrivals through the airports of the Sultanate of Oman increased significantly by 133 percent while the number of departures increased by 109 percent. The incoming and outgoing international and domestic flights through Muscat International Airport increased by 107 percent, to reach 68,737 flights, carrying 8,602,791 passengers.

Salalah Airport recorded a significant increase of 71 percent in the number of international and domestic flights, as the number of flights through the airport reached 8,672 carrying 1,128,024 passengers.

The number of international and domestic flights departing and arriving from Sohar Airport were 813 flights with 78,482 passengers while the Duqm Airport recorded 650 incoming and outgoing domestic flights, and transported a total of 67,465 passengers.

The surge in traffic was also detailed in a recent report of International Air Transport Association (IATA) that recorded Middle Eastern airlines witnessing a 157.4% traffic rise in 2022 compared to 2021.

“Capacity increased 73.8 percent and load factor climbed 24.6 percentage points to 75.8 percent while December demand climbed 69.8 percent compared to the same month in 2021,” the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its December 2022 report.

The report further said that the recovery in air travel continued in December 2022 and for the full year with total traffic in 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rising by 64.4 per cent compared to 2021.

“Globally, full-year 2022 traffic was at 68.5 percent of pre-pandemic (2019) levels. December 2022 total traffic rose 39.7 percent compared to December 2021 and reached 76.9 percent of the December 2019 level,” it said in its report.

International traffic in 2022 climbed 152.7 per cent against 2021 and reached 62.2 percent of 2019 levels. December 2022 international traffic climbed 80.2 per cent over December 2021, reaching 75.1 percent of the level in December 2019.

“The industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel. This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s re-opening,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

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