The Sultanate’s aviation sector is expected to contribute over OMR1.4bn to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2040, Amien Al Hosni, CEO – Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) – said recently.
Hosni, who was speaking at a seminar held in the city recently, said, “We [the aviation industry] had a total contribution of an estimated OMR170mn to the GDP in 2016, and it is expected to grow to OMR1.4bn by 2040. We are actually trying to upscale this.”
He added, that the aviation sector is an enabler and an indirect contributor to the country’s economy, compared to oil and gas. Hosni said they wanted the Sultanate to be the hub of international airlines. As of now, 35 global carriers fly through Oman’s airports, with the number growing at the rate of 2-3 airlines per year.
Oman Airports, currently supervises seven airports in the country including Muscat and Salalah international airports. According to Hosni, these seven airports saw as many as 17.2mn passengers last year, up from 6.2mn in 2010 and is project to cross 18mn passengers in 2018. He also said that Muscat International Airport, will be expanded further to be able to handle100 million passengers, in the future.
Oman Airports is also looking at building Airport Cities, Airport Free Zones, Airfreight Services, Premium Airport Services, and Cargo Handling distributed across three key pillars: Tourism, Aviation, and Logistics, Hosni added.
Meanwhile, Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran, also spoke at the seminar and quoted the NCSI data, which revealed that there were 3.2mn tourist arrivals in 2018. The average length of stay grew from five nights in 2005 to seven nights in 2017. According to the NCSI, 34% of visitor expenditure is usually on accommodation services, 15% on food and 11% on shopping. According to Walichnowski, domestic tourism is expected to double to 4.6mn by 2040.