National Ferries Organizes an Experimental Journey to Bandar Abbas Port in Iran - Sunday, 23 September 2012

-The National Ferries Company (NFC) organized last Thursday an experimental trip to Bahonar Port in Bandar Abbas in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The trip comes within the company's efforts to activate Ishqabad agreement,which the Sultanate joined as per the Royal Decree (No.108/2011). It also comesas translation of the outcomes of the 14th meeting of the Omani-Iranian Joint Commission, which was recently held in Tehran - on operating a marine route from Khasab Port to Bandar Abbas.The work team of the National Ferries Company, which included the company CEOand a number of engineers, as well as technicians, studied the marine features of the route and made direct field tests for the route between Khasab to Bandar Abbas. It also conducted tests on the depths in Bahonar port.
The NFC officials had meetings with their Iranian counter parts and discussed means of activating this line and utilizing all resources to launch this routein the near future. They also reviewed the basic principles for the transit transportation in a bidto provide the platform for promulgating efficient laws and systems that facilitate the movement of passengers and goods among the ports in both the Sultanate and the Islamic Republic of Iran in one hand and ports of the members of the agreement on the other hand.During the visit, the NFC delegation reviewed the facilities at Bahonar Port in Bandar Abbas, such as arrival and departure terminals, quays and shipping docks. Mehdi bin Mohammed Al-Abdwani NFC CEO said that initiating this experimental journey compliments efforts made by the company to expedite the launch of the marine journeys between the two countries within the frame work of Ishq Abad agreement.He added that the Iranian officials expressed their desire to activate this marine route as soon as possible as this will encourage travellers to use this route; thanks to speed and ability to spend good times.

The route will also encourage the private sector in Oman and other countries to increase investments in the future through this route for member countries at the convention.He added that the journey took almost 2 hours by the Sawqrah ferry which ran ata speed of 32 knots/hour. He pointed out that this time may be shorter if using the Shinas and Hormuz Ferries, as time may be reduced to 1.5 hours.He added that the company operates journeys to more than 14 local ports. Also, it plays an important role in implement Ishq Abad agreement which aims atcreating an effective axis for regular transportation and transit of passengersand goods among the Middle Asian Countries, Iranian Port and the Sea of Oman.

The agreement also aims at facilitating access to international markets through marine and land transportation, ensuring travel security, implementation of the international standards for goods and passenger's transit and transportation safety, ensuring environmental protection as per international standards and providing equal regulations for transportation service providers at the membercountries.On his part, Ghazi bin Abdullah Al-Zadjali, Head of Marketing and Communications at NFC pointed out that the first eight months of this year remarkable growthin the number of travellers over the company fleet as the total number of passengers hit 19,727, a growth by 89% compared to the same period last year. The number of vehicles shipped during the same period amounted to 3046.He affirmed that the company's intensified marketing and promotion efforts,throughout the different media means and communication and reservation centre had positive impact on raising awareness of the services rendered by the company.