100% Increase in Number of Passengers in Fast Ferries (6) - Saturday, 21 July 2012

Number of passengers inthe fast ferries during the first half of 2012 rose by 104% compared to thesame period last year.

The statistical dataissued by Communications and Booking Office affiliated to National FerriesCompany pointed out that the gross number of passengers on board of the fastferries during the first half reached 13930 passengers compared to 6826passengers for the same period last year. The statistics also showed that thetotal number of vehicles that were shipped on board of the fast ferries reached2168 vehicles.

The statement alsoreported that there was significant achievement in the first half of this yearregarding the launch of the journeys between Shinas Port in Northern Al-BatinahGovernorate and Khasab Port in Musandam Governorate, through which 2931passengers and 634 vehicles were transported. During the first half of 2012,the company managed to receive the Middle East Tourist Award highlighting thedistinguished efforts and services availed by the company in the maritimetransportation. The company also managed to realize several national objectivesconcerning the nationalization of the technical and administrative maritimeactivity. The company also managed to achieve an prominent position in terms ofthe social responsibility, meet the requirements and standards of the maritimeenvironment preservation, boost the regional development by enabling theservices to reach the small coastal residential complexes, provide several jobopportunities to the Omani youth, realize the Omanisation percentage in all theadministrative and technical jobs. The statement also reported that theNational Ferries Company managed to fulfill the operational safety standardsduring sailing, making the company able to cope with the world’s safetystandards and practices.

Ghazi bin Abdullah Al-Zedjali, Head of Marketing and Communications in National Ferries Company expressed his happiness for the progress realized by the company in thefirst half of this year concerning the increase of bookings in terms ofpassengers and vehicle shipment. This is affirmation to the nationals’,residents’ and tourists’ confidence in the quality services being availed bythe company during the journeys. Al-Zedjali also stated that in the futurethere will be promising trends as the company has announced an internationaltender for studying the feasibility of operating fast ferries from Omani portsto some neighboring ports under Ishiq Abad Agreement in addition to the recentconsent of the Tender Board to award the project of designing and building twoferries for (Shannah – Masirah) route in Al-Sharqiyah Governorate.

It is worth mentioning that the National FerriesCompany is currently operating 16 journeys per week throughout four localports, i.e, Sultan Qaboos Port, Shinas Port, Khasab Port and Lima Port. It isexpected the fast ferries service would cover 14 local ports across the coastsof the Sultanate.