Salalah International Airport is the second largest airport in Oman after Muscat International Airport. It is about 10 kilometers from the city center, just north of Salalah. From here, you can either choose domestic connections to Muscat and other regions of Oman or head to European destinations.
Salalah Airport opened in 1977. At this time, Sultan Qaboos had just started to make the first noteworthy infrastructure improvements. The very first reforms and construction projects benefited and sustained the steady flow of oil because investment from oil revenue was the only way to realize the statesman’s vision for Oman. Initially, Salalah airport was not much more than a small domestic airport from which flights to Muscat departed. In the next few years, this was followed by a few charter flights, but the more significant developments were still in the works and only came with time. In 2000, only around 190,000 passengers traveled through the airport each year, and in 2003, the first direct flights to and from Salalah came on offer. Initially, there were only short distance destinations like Dubai. In 2004, regularly scheduled flights to India began in Salalah – this was groundbreaking when it came to the entry of guest workers who have been needed throughout the last decade in Oman more than ever before. Since 2014, there has been continued construction, further expansion, and additional modernization of the airport.
In 2013, even before the start of work on the airport’s modernization and expansion, the number of passengers traveling through was increasing – almost 800,000 people utilized it in that year alone. Today, the expansion is well underway. The new terminal at the airport is currently up and running, enabling faster and more convenient service for arriving and departing guests – this includes new duty-free shops, a number of international car rental agencies and other conveniences. What is more, in recent years, a whole series of interesting new flight routes were added to the airport’s offerings.