With the launch, Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) stated that Sohar Airport is the new gateway in Oman, and will act as an alternative destination for any exigencies at Muscat International Airport. “Sohar Airport will be the local alternative in emergency situations for Muscat International Airport,” OAMC said.
Mohammed bin Nasser al Zaabi, CEO of the Public Authority of Civil Aviation (PACA), in a tweet stated, “This is start of the first international flight to Sohar Airport and followed by another soon, God willing. Best wishes and good luck to Air Arabia.”
Zaabi was referring to Qatar Airways, which has confirmed to start its service between Doha and Sohar with three-weekly flights beginning August 8.
A reception followed the launch of the flight at the airport, where dignitaries from Air Arabia and OAMC were welcomed and shown around the facilities.
OAMC said that Sohar Airport started operations on November 18, 2014 with the launch of Oman Air flight from Muscat (now suspended) and the airport will be able to receive 500,000 passengers annually when the new terminal is ready.
Larsen & Toubro (Oman) was awarded the RO36mn third phase contract at the end of 2015. The scope of work includes the construction of a passenger terminal building, as well as a dedicated cargo terminal building capable of handling around 50,000 tonnes of air freight per annum.
The new route complements Air Arabia’s existing flights to Muscat and Salalah, boosts travel and trade opportunities between Oman and the UAE, and provides hassle-free travel options to the residents of Sohar, the airline said in a statement.
The flight will operate three times a week, on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 8am, and arriving at Sohar International Airport (OHS) at 8.40am. The return flight will depart from Sohar at 9.20am, landing in Sharjah at 10am.