Passenger numbers through Muscat International Airport have increased by 10 percent this year in what has been attributed to new airlines flying into the Sultanate.
Figures released by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) show the airport registered 5.53m passengers in the year to the end of August, compared to 5.01m for the same period last year.
Passenger arrivals accounted for 2.78m of the total – up nine percent on the 2.54m passengers logged last year.
The number of departing passengers increased by 12 per cent, reaching 2.72m compared to 2.42m last year.
The airport handled 7.55m passengers in 2012.
The increase in passenger numbers was attributed to increased flights and new airlines starting operations.
In June, Indian low-cost carrier Indigo increased its flights between Mumbai and Muscat from four to seven flights a week.
And the passenger boon is likely to continue after fellow Indian low-cost airline, SpiceJet, started direct flights between Ahmedabad and Muscat on August 29.
PACA showed air cargo traffic was up four per cent with total shipments at 78,746 tonnes by the end of August, compared to 75,600 tonnes last year.
The new terminal at Muscat International Airport, to be completed by 2014, will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually, according to Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC).
Further expansions planned in three subsequent phases will ultimately boost the airport’s annual capacity to 24, 36 and 48 million passengers respectively when demand is required.
OAMC said the new terminal at Oman’s Salalah Airport would boost capacity to 1m passengers a year by 2014.
Future expansions could result in up to 6m passengers a year.