High air fares rattle Salalah visitors

The high fares for some flights have rattled visitors to Salalah during the final days of the khareef tourist season. With several probable travellers taking up the issue with the relevant authorities, the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) on Tuesday said that fares are determined by the open market mechanisms based on the demand and supply, and competition among the airlines. “There is no interference from PACA in determining or approving ticket prices, especially with the presence of more than one airline operating in the Sultanate,” the statement said.

As a testimony to the high demand, flight tickets from Salalah are already sold out between August 21-24, the airline website indicates.

The one-way fares from Muscat on the budget airline SalamAir start from RO25 for August 21 and drop to RO18 by August 31.

From Salalah, the fares on SalamAir show RO96 for August 25 which drop to RO31 for August 26, 25 for RO28 and 27 and to RO17 for August 29.

On the full-fledged Oman Air, the Muscat-Salalah one way fares are between RO 30 and RO 40 depending on the flight timings from August 22. At the same time, Oman Air’s Salalah-Muscat class fares for RO 286.7 (August 24) on a business class with economy class shown to the sold-out on the website The economy fare is estimated to be RO 86 and RO 125 for August 25, which stabilises to RO 30 levels from August 26. The one-way fare on Mwasalat buses to Salalah was RO 6 and RO 10 (return) during the khareef season.

However, nearly 70 per cent of visitors to Salalah prefer to travel by road. “Fares have been exorbitant on some days and just unaffordable if travelling with large families. Tickets to some neighbouring or regional countries could be much cheaper. No wonder people prefer road despite certain disadvantages,” Khalid, a Salalah native, who feels “any fare above RO 45 is too unrealistic”.