Oman Air to focus on Asia, Africa with Muscat as hub

Muscat, June 12 – Oman Air will focus on making Muscat a transit hub by launching flights that will link the African and Asian continents.
Abdulaziz al Raisi, CEO, Oman Air, said: “The launch of flights to Casablanca in Morocco from July 1 is part of these restructuring initiatives. Currently, there are four weekly flights to Guangzhou in China and we are looking at other cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.”
On the African side, the airline will be targeting countries like South Africa and Rwanda in the next few years.
On adding flights to India, Al Raisi said, “We want the weekly seats between the two countries to be increased to 60,000 from the current agreement of around 27,000. We are looking at cities like Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Coimbatore and also adding capacities to the existing routes with the introduction of wide-bodied aircraft like the A330s and Dreamliners.”
Meanwhile, Mustafa al Hinai, Chief Executive Officer at Oman Aviation Group, said the national airline witnessed a 24-per cent increase in revenues in the first four months (January-April) of this year.
He said the airline was able to cut expenditure by four per cent and reduce losses by over 11 per cent during the same period.
Through a 13-point restructuring strategy, Al Hinai said that the Oman Aviation Group (parent company of Oman Air) has saved RO 7.5 million or 55 per cent in 2018 through renegotiation of existing contracts.
The other strategies include laying emphasis on new fleet, alliance and code-sharing agreements, customer services, fare structure and special focus on sales and marketing.
Plans are being worked out in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism programme as part of the ministry’s national tourism strategy.
Al Hinai said there are no plans to freeze routes. The focus is to have an alignment between passenger demand and seats allocated to that particular sector.

Vinod Nair