Oman Air suspends Sohar flights

15 June 2016

Low demand cited for stopping flights

Oman Air has confirmed the temporary suspension of its flights between Muscat and Sohar since May due to low passenger demand.

It is unclear if and when the flights will resume, according to a local media report.

It is understood the airline had earlier admitted that the Muscat-Sohar route is a loss-making one, but “it is part of a social obligation to help [Oman’s] aviation [industry].”

Sohar is about two hours by road from Muscat, which means most passengers do not prefer to travel between the two destinations by air.

Despite this setback, Abdulrahman al-Busaidy, Oman Air chief operating officer, said in January that the Sohar airport has the potential to become a cargo hub due to its proximity to the port and industrial hubs.

Oman Air has been offering three flights a week between Muscat and Oman since November 2015.

On 31 May, the carrier and UK-based Menzies Aviation announced a joint venture to provide ground-handling services at airports in Oman.

The companies said have entered a period of due diligence in order to meet all regulatory requirements prior to the formation of the joint venture before the end of 2016.

The new entity is envisaged to employ 2,500 people and handle more than 50,000 aircraft turnarounds annually.

The joint venture will start offering ground-handling services at the Muscat International airport by January 2017, along with Swissport International. This will make Muscat the first airport in the region to have two ground-handling service operators.




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