After the success of the biggest passenger turnaround that took place in November last year, another feat has been accomplished by the port and airport authorities in Muscat.
They handled and transferred 1,800 British travellers on Thursday and Friday.
In a sign of growing tourism industry in Oman, around 900 British travellers landed in Muscat in three charter flights and set sail aboard a cruise liner from Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ) on Friday. A similar number of cruise passengers disembarked at the port and took the same flights out of Muscat International Airport.
The Ministry of Tourism announced on Thursday that the sultanate witnessed the exchange of second batch of tourists between PSQ and Muscat airport.
The ministry stated that a coordinated logistics cooperation with the ROP, Marafi and Oman Airports was required to carry out swift passenger exchange of cruise liner Marella Discovery and the charter flights.
“The port, airport and the Omani tourism sector institutions and allied service sectors will benefit from this passenger exchange.”
M C Jose, CEO, Khimji Ramdas (KR) Projects and Logistics, told Muscat Daily that this kind of passenger exchange in a short span of time was only possible because of extensive work and cooperation of all the agencies involved like KR as shipping agent and Travco Oman as the travel and tourism agent. “This turnaround is going to benefit the entire chain of sectors involved, from tourism and logistics to hospitality industry.”
He added that his company was in talks with other cruise liners to replicate this successful endeavour. It is also an important step to make Muscat a home port, where passengers disembark and new passengers board the ship for onward journeys.
Marella Discovery arrived at PSQ on Thursday after a 14-night cruise from Cochin, India with port calls in Mangalore, Mormugao (Goa) and Mumbai in India, and Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Bahrain and Khasab in the Gulf.
She departed on Friday to Corfu, on a 14-night Red Sea odyssey with stops in Salalah, Aqaba in Jordan, Ashdod in Israel, and Argostoli (Kefallinia), and Corfu in Greece.
Marella Discovery is set to return to Muscat for a similar trip on November 21 and depart the next day on a 14-night cruise to Langkawi, Malaysia.