Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) made history when it landed at Salalah Airport of Oman.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday, the flight arrived directly from Lahore 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.

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

Mr. Marhoun, Ambassador-designate to Pakistan, who resides in Salalah City, was also present on the occasion. Both dignitaries welcomed the initiation of direct flights to Salalah, as a substantive measure towards diversification of bilateral relations.

Ambassador Ali Javed, while appreciating the decision by 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 is 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 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.

Meanwhile, PIA Spokesman, Danyal Gilani clarified regarding media queries that pilots are given full salaries as per the decision of Board of Directors.