Oman Air working on plan to boost revenue, Minister of Transport tells Majlis
February 27, 2018 | 9:27 PM
by Times News Service
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim Al Futaisi Minister of Transport and Communications. Photo-ONA

Muscat: Oman Air is working on ways to give a boost to revenue generation, Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, said.

While responding to a question from a Majlis Al Shura member during the discussion on his statement, the minister said: “With regard to your question on whether there is a feasibility study in place, yes, there is a study. The flaw, in my opinion and in the opinion of the consultant, is in marketing and sales processes. Oman Air needs to develop its revenue capabilities.”

“There is a flaw in expenditure increase as well, but it is not the biggest flaw. The biggest flaw is the airline’s inability to increase revenue. We can attribute 30 per cent to expenditure issues and 70 per cent to the revenue issue. Now, a plan is in place to minimise losses using certain procedures,” he said.

“There is another plan to raise revenue by changing some of the leaders in various sectors and the structure of the company itself. We analysed human resources and information technology in a short time. We analysed most of the company’s problems, and now it’s about how to overcome these problems. We are not saying that the transformation will happen fast. Oman Air will need some support for a while,” Al Futaisi remarked.

“While the company has losses, it also has good routes and lines. In the last six months, we have had experts study Oman Air in general and develop a transformation strategy. They see 24 of 49 destinations of the airline making profits, 14 destinations close to making profits, and 11 destinations bringing in losses,” he added.

As an example for a good route, he cited the London route.

In response to a question on the transport sector’s performance indicators, he said: “The goals we have set for ourselves are somewhat ambitious. And we will strive to achieve these goals. For jobs, we have set a goal of 80,000 jobs in the sector by 2020. Today as we speak, we have exceeded this goal. The sector continues to provide jobs both in aviation and in the ports and logistics sector. There is employment on a daily basis.”

“We have taken part in the government initiative of providing 25,000 jobs in the aviation sector and we seek to employ nearly 3,000 people. The logistics has provided 1,000 jobs, so far. We are working hard to offer other opportunities,” Al Futaisi said.

He further said that human resources was a major focus of the Oman Logistics Centre. In fact, it was one of the four main focus areas, the others being trade facilitation, marketing, and technology. “We have recruited young people to develop human resources. They are now developing the existing training system in institutions, academies, and training centres. We also work in coordination with the Maritime College in Sohar,” he said.

The Sultanate’s ports are handling increasing volumes. Container traffic in Salalah and Sohar is rising every year. “All of our indicators show that there are major developments in the three main ports of the Sultanate,” the minister said, adding that the government has implemented several road projects, focusing, due to the financial crisis, on first completing what has been started.

“When the implementation of the ninth five-year plan begins in 2019, the financial crisis is expected to have eased. As of now, we are implementing all our existing projects,” he said.

“The percentage of deaths on Oman’s roads has significantly fallen. The fall in numbers between 2011 and 2017 reflects the considerable efforts exerted in this matter,” he said, adding that 90 per cent of the deaths on the Sultanate’s roads might be caused by drivers and not by the country’s infrastructure.

“As for the issue of pedestrian tunnels, we need them all through Batinah and not just in Al Musanaa and other towns. Many walk on both sides of the road. Initially, we decided to take care to close the intersections and build transport bridges. After that, we began making pedestrian tunnels in some states. The valleys are another priority area that we must take care of on the current Batinah Road,” Al Futaisi added.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news