Muscat: At the World Travel Awards (WTA) grand final held in Lisbon, Muscat International Airport was voted the ‘World’s Leading New Airport.’
The airport was also named the Middle East’s leading new tourism development project in 2018.
The national airline, Oman Air, was named the Middle East’s leading airline both in Economy Class and Business Class.
Oman Air was also nominated for the Middle East’s leading airline along with Eithad Airways, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways, while Emirates was the winner.
Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed al Hosni, CEO, of Oman Airports, said, “This award recognizes our efforts in writing a new chapter in our journey of excellence. Muscat International Airport aims to not only raise the bar on customer experience but operational efficiency as well. This new passenger terminal is the first encounter visitors have with Oman and we have worked to ensure that it is a true representation of our genuine hospitality and beautiful country.”
Commercially opened in March of this year with a gross floor area of approximately 580,000 sqm, the new airport has the capacity to serve 20 million passengers per year.
Hosni added, “We are committed to playing a pivotal role in realizing the government’s ambitious national logistics strategy and becoming one of the top 20 airports in the world by 2020. The new infrastructure is vital to deliver the level of service that our customers expect and to expertly manage and develop the gateways of Oman.”
Since opening its doors, the airport has received worldwide acclaim for its Omani-themed architecture, advanced technology, and exceptional passenger experience. With an expansion potential of up to 80 million passengers per annum, it was designed and constructed to the highest standards of quality and service, meeting the International Air Transport Association’s classification for top airports. As a result, it was voted Best New Middle East Tourism Development Project at the World Travel Awards just four weeks after starting its operations.
On the heels of this global recognition, the Sultanate, represented by Oman Airports will play host to the 2019 World Travel Awards.
“We are both honored and excited. This event will position Oman as a contender to hold such high-profile international aviation events which will ultimately contribute to the country’s economic diversification strategy.”
Oman has seen tremendous growth as a result of the opening of the new Muscat International airport. Between January and October 2018, the total number of flights arriving at Muscat International Airport was 89,368, a 5.2 per cent increase from last year while the number of passengers increased by 10.5 per cent from 2017, reaching 11,705,440. By end of 2018, the total number of passengers flying into the airport is expected to have reached a record 16,000,000.
Established in 1993, World Travel Awards has served to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Voted by industry professionals and travelers from around the world, its winners have been setting the benchmark to which others aspire for over two decades.