Thursday, May 13, 2021 | Ramadan 30, 1442 H
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Sultanate skies opening up for air travellers


MUSCAT, DEC 31 - The government seeks to open up Oman’s skies to facilitate more international airlines and offer more options for travellers.
Air travel between Oman and Turkey could become affordable after the recent signing of pact between the two countries at the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN) 2018 Conference in Kenya on air services negotiations, said a statement from the Public Authority from Civil Aviation (PACA).
The agreement opens up air space to operate any number of flights between both countries as against the current limit of 28 weekly flights.
Speaking to the Observer, Mohammed Ahmed, CEO, SalamAir, said the airline was considering a few summer destinations in 2019, including Trabzon in Turkey.
Currently, Oman Air and Turkish Airlines operate direct services between the two countries.
An agreement was signed with Rwanda for the possibility of connecting flights through any middle points and points beyond the two countries instead of the 21 previous direct flights.
Talks with South Africa have resulted in the renewal of the air transport agreement between the two countries. It will lead to an increase in operating capacity to seven weekly passenger flights and seven weekly cargo flights for carriers of both countries.
Top officials at Oman Air had earlier indicated the airline would be eyeing countries like South Africa and Rwanda in the next few years.
Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Zaabi, CEO, PACA, wanted to increase the operational rights between the Sultanate and other countries in the field of air transport.
“The Sultanate has become associated with air transport agreements with 101 countries and continues to seek to liberalise the air transport market in the Sultanate by negotiating with the civil aviation authorities in various countries to open the way for expansion of national carriers of Oman Air and SalamAir.”
“It will help attract more international airlines to operate at Oman’s airports in order to create a competitive air transport market between the Sultanate and those countries, leading to the recovery of economic and tourism sector growth in the Sultanate and provide more travel options for travellers,” said the statement.
Agreements have been reached in the field of air transport with Côte d’Ivoire, Guyana, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Haiti and Mozambique based on the principles of open skies to operate any number of flights between the Sultanate and those countries.

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