Oman Air in global expansion drive
February 4, 2018 | 10:15 PM
by Ismael David Mujahid/[email protected]
The announcements were made during the unveiling of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Muscat: Oman Air’s global expansion is set to reach new heights over the next 12 months with the introduction of new routes in North Africa and Europe, an increased capacity on flights to major destinations in Europe, and a focus on nurturing its branch network in India.

With its ambitious vision, including major investments to its fleet, Oman Air is aiming to become the airline of choice for 39 million passengers by 2030.

Senior officials in the company detailed the beginning of its new routes, with regular flights to Casablanca commencing in June, Istanbul in July, and Moscow in October this year.

The announcements were made during the unveiling of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. -ONA

Additionally, studies are being conducted to assess the viability of re-launching flights to Singapore, Maldives, and Beirut, as well as beginning operations to Dhaka, Chittagong, Shanghai and Beijing. Further to its aim of extending its reach, the airline will begin increasing flights to Milan, Paris and Guangzhou.

Firmly eyeing India’s lucrative aviation sector, the company said it was also looking at launching flights to Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Mangalore.

In 2016, the air services agreement between the government of Oman and India was revised, when the number of weekly seats was raised to 27,405 for airlines from both countries.

Oman Air, however, is now ambitiously looking to increase its number of seats to 60,000 as its regional expansion plans continue to grow.

While the company stated that a great deal of emphasis was on keeping costs down, the airline has continued making investments to its fleet, network, and award-winning on-board experience. Further, Oman Air is extending its investment to acquire the latest in-flight technology with the added benefit of a recent 10-year agreement with tech giant Thales. As part of the agreement, the 737 MAX will be equipped with advanced state-of-the-art AVANT IFE System.

The announcements were made during the unveiling of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Business Class passengers will enjoy the largest screens provided on a single aisle aircraft and Thales’ unique passenger interface will enable business and economy passengers to access an impressive list of entertainment and informative features.

The announcements were made during the unveiling of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Offering ultimate cabin comfort and expanded long-haul functionalities, passengers can look forward to more space, legroom, and enhanced flexibility on board. Oman Air is expecting to add five of the aircraft to its fleet before the end of the year as part of a direct purchase of 30 787-Max planes from Boeing. The rest will be delivered at a later date.

Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications and Chairman of Oman Air, said: “I am delighted to be here today to witness the latest addition to the Oman Air fleet. Boeing 737 MAX is at the forefront of aviation technology and among the most efficient planes in the sky today. Oman Air has put an order of 30 MAX aircraft and this is the first aircraft delivery of this order.”

Restructuring process

He said: “As Oman Air embraces a new business model, the destination model, following the latest restructuring process by the Oman Aviation Group, the airline will undergo a re-positioning programme as a point-to-point national carrier. The new model emulates the best practices by countries that have a similar position to that of Oman, such as Iceland. Since adapting the destination business model, Iceland Air has seen a five-fold increase in the number of tourists since 2010 and delivered profitable growth.

“With the expansion of Oman Air fleet with the most efficient planes, world-class ground services, excellent marketing, and the alignment with other leading sectors, we are confident of making Oman Air the first choice of the targeted 39 million passengers by 2030.”

Omar Air’s acting CEO Abdul Aziz Al Raisi said: “Since taking over as acting CEO in October, 2017, our focus has been on bringing down operational costs without shrinking our service offering or network growth. We have opened three new call centres in India, Kuala Lumpur and Romania, all of which now operate 24 hours a day and supplement the Oman-based call centres, which are fully Omanised.

“Omanisation has been a key focus of our policy, and we are taking clear steps to fill senior posts with Omani candidates, including developing outstanding career prospects across the globe as the airline expands.”

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