Oman Air eyes more Indian cities from Salalah

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: March 27 – The National carrier Oman Air has ambitious plans for Salalah in terms of new operations to and from Salalah. An outline of these plans was given by Oman Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gregorowitsch (pictured), soon after the launch of its direct flight from Salalah to Calicut (Kozhikode) on Monday.
967011In an interview with Observer, Gregorowitsch expressed Oman Air’s commitment to be a partner in progress of Dhofar, which has great tourism and business potential. “We very much believe in the beautiful development of Dhofar. It is a great region and with an airport of this magnitude, we also have unique infrastructure. The operation to Calicut in India is just a start. Because the moment the bilateral aviation ties between Oman and India is further expanded, we will be able to offer more Indian cities as a direct connection from Salalah,” he said.
Asked specifically about any possibility of direct flights to new Indian destinations like Delhi and Mumbai, Gregorowitsch said: “Today we have additional rights for Mumbai. However, the Indian airport authority has not granted us slots to land there. So we don’t use them. If we cannot use them out of Muscat, for instance, and we have better timing out of Salalah, then that is one of the options we can consider as well.”
“We are also looking to the next step that means that the African subcontinent can be covered from Salalah. Because today it is still a necessity to fly from Salalah, back to Muscat to go to other destinations. This gap can be covered and we are very much in line with the situation. We are considering all the possibilities to serve Dhofar and Salalah in a better way,” said Gregorowitsch.
“And of course as the aviation infrastructure here is up to the mark, we should try to make maximum use of it,” the Oman Air CEO said while hailing Salalah’s strength of aviation infrastructure.
He did not promise anything very soon, but made it categorically clear that Salalah remained top on Oman Air’s priority. “Our focus now is to make Salalah-Calicut destination successful. After that we can consider either of moving some of the daily frequencies to Mumbai or Delhi or also one of them here to Salalah.”
“We have to start summer time table for 2017. We are opening in a couple of days to Nairobi in Africa, we are going to open Manchester in UK in May and hoping to open Peshawar as well when the bilateral landing rights are granted by the Pakistani government.”
These are the three Oman Air’s destinations for 2017. The national carrier, according to the CEO, is looking further if it can extend the flying rights to the India or Indian subcontinent. “Then we will also consider straightaway more direct connections from Salalah to India and then consider direct connections from Salalah in the geographical directions to Africa.”