Muscat: National carrier Oman Air’s annual financial report for 2016 has reported the airline’s contribution of OMR600 million paid into the national economy
The carrier also expanded its fleet to 47 aircraft and carried 7.7 million passengers in 2016, compared to 6.4 million in 2015, a 21 per cent increase. Reviewing the annual report, Darwish bin Ismail bin Ali Al Balushi, Chairman of Oman Air’s Board of Directors, said, “2016 was a year of both change and consolidation for Oman Air. Oman Air continued its ambitious programme of expansion in 2016 with four brand new Boeing 737-800s joining the Oman Air fleet.”
“The carrier has operated B737s for many years and the aircraft are the backbone of the airline’s long and medium haul fleet. We have continued to upgrade our Airbus fleet. The first Airbus 330 to benefit from a comprehensive retrofit landed at Muscat International Airport from Paris in October 2016. This reflects our commitment to continue to invest in our award winning on-board experience.”
With the addition of the new Boeing 737-800, Oman Air’s fleet stands at 47, with three more Boeing 737-800s scheduled to join. This year, Oman Air will also unveil the new B787-9 Dreamliners and revamp the existing Airbus fleet.
He added that the previous A330 interiors attracted enormous international acclaim when they were first unveiled in 2009, and the new A330 interiors surpass those high standards and customers have been delighted with the interiors.
“The results speak for themselves. The number of available seat kilometres grew to 24.8 billion, an increase of 20 per cent. Oman Air’s capacity has increased significantly over the last year, recording an increase in flight movements by more than 4,000 flights to nearly 51,952 flights, an increase of 9 per cent, compared with 2015. The number of round trips Oman Air offered in 2016 increased to 30,978 from 28,270 in the previous year.”
While fluctuating oil prices continue to negatively affect the global economic outlook, Oman Air’s revenues increased to OMR472 million in 2016, an increase of 1 per cent, from 2015,” added Al Balushi.
He also made note of the introduction of twice daily service to London Heathrow from five times a week, daily flights to Paris, and increased frequencies on other European routes, as some of the major developments in 2016. “The other recent additions to our network include Manila, Jakarta, Singapore, Goa, Dhaka and Mashhad. The introduction of Guangzhou, China and Najaf, Iraq were the other major milestones of 2016. We also announced the start of our second destination in the UK with the new Muscat to Manchester daily service in May 2017.”
“Oman Air is continuing with its broad human resources strategy of appreciating the skills, abilities, commitment, and contribution of all staff, regardless of their backgrounds. The company has worked hard to increase the employment of Omani nationals and now, over two-third of the workforce hails from Oman.
The year 2016 also saw a move to put Oman Air at the forefront of pilot and cabin crew training, with the launch of the Oman Air Flight Training Centre (OAFTC) in October. “It is a state-of-the-art facility that is the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman,” Al Balushi pointed out.
Al Balushi also noted Oman Air’s continuous excellence in other areas of the business,as the amount of cargo that Oman Air handled in 2016 increased to 159,618 tonnes from 138,972 tonnes.