ISLAMABAD, Dec 6 (APP): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started direct flight from Lahore to Salalah, Oman, to facilitate around 50,000 Pakistanis residing in Salalah region.

The first PIA flight from Lahore landed at Salalah Airport, located 1100 kilometers South West of Muscat, Oman on December 1, with 100% occupancy and was accorded a traditional ‘water salute’ upon landing, keeping with the tradition in the Aviation Sector to welcome the inaugural flights.

An impressive ceremony was co-hosted by the Civil Aviation Authorities
of Oman and the PIA on the premises of the Airport with the presence of Salim Bin Awadh al Yafi, Deputy Governor Dhofar Region.

Marhoun, Ambassador-designate to Pakistan, who resides in Salalah city, was also present on the occasion, a message received from Muscat here on Tuesday said.

Both dignitaries, welcomed the initiation of direct flights to Salalah, as a substantive measure towards diversification of bilateral relations.

Pakistan Ambassador Ali Javed, while appreciating the decision by the PIA to connect Pakistan with Salalah, observed that the intention was to promote trade links with Dhofar Region and further people-to-people exchanges.

He added that Lahore was deemed as cultural center of Pakistan and boasts a rich historical heritage and hence a direct flight would facilitate tourists.

There are 261,000 Pakistanis residing in Oman. In addition to the PIA, Air Blue and Shaheen Air cumulatively operate 26 weekly flights to Oman while Oman Air operates 10 weekly flights.

With the introduction of two weekly direct flights on Lahore-Salalah sector, an estimated 50,000 Pakistanis residing in Salalah region would stand to benefit from this facility.