People, Travel

Muscat-Bandar Abbas Charter Flights Planned

Interest among Omanis to visit Iran for is said to be high.Interest among Omanis to visit Iran for is said to be high.

An Omani airline is exploring the possibility of launching charter flights between Muscat and the port city of Bandar Abbas in Iran's Hormozgan Province, a provincial tourism official said.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Mohsen Ziaei, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said demand among Omanis to travel to Iran is high.

"During a recent trip to Oman, we received a number of requests to launch flights between the two cities," he said, adding that an Omani airline has expressed readiness to launch flights.

The small Persian Gulf state has only two airlines: the state-owned Oman Air and the budget airline SalamAir.

The official said a large number of Omani travelers are medical tourists seeking high quality healthcare in Iran, particularly in Hormozgan Province.

"Some of the doctors (based in Hormozgan) even travel to Oman regularly to offer their services … We believe Bandar Abbas can be a more affordable and closer alternative to cities such as Shiraz for Omani health tourists," he said.

Ziaei said an Iranian businessman based in Oman is making investments to launch charter flights between Muscat and Bandar Abbas.

"Work is in progress and hopefully a route will be established as soon as all the necessary permits are obtained," he said.

The high cost of private treatment and low quality health systems in regional countries mean there is a demand for medical services available in Iran. Those from Muslim countries are particularly attracted to Iran, as they feel safer and more satisfied than in most Arab or Asian countries offering similar services.

Geographical proximity, hot and cold mineral springs in various parts of the country as well as low-cost and high quality health services in the fields of fertility treatment, stem cell treatment and dialysis, as well as heart, cosmetic and eye surgeries, have created new opportunities in Iran’s health tourism—a growth industry in many countries.


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