Oman Air records strong results for 2011

Al Balushi... only the best passenger experience

OMAN Air recently published its annual report for 2011 reflecting remarkable growth for business operations during the year.

The company reported a loss of OMR110 million ($285 million) during the year, partly on the back of fuel prices, but it is flying steadily towards profitability. Some of its achievements in 2011 were an increase of revenue by 35 per cent, increase in the number of passengers to 3.8 million, or 16 per cent, a rise in the seat factor up to 73 per cent and an improvement in freight revenues by 28 per cent.

Darwish bin Ismail bin Ali Al Balushi, minister for financial affairs and chairman of Oman Airís Board of Directors said, “2011 was a year of both change and consolidation for Oman Air. We have continued our programme of rapid expansion, introduced new aircraft and further enhanced the quality of our products and services. We have also invested in training, agreed a number of partnerships and joint ventures and taken a series of measures to improve efficiency. Each of these steps has been taken with two key aims in mind: to ensure the best possible passenger experience for our customers and to improve profitability in the long run.” The number of passengers carried by Oman Air increased by 16 per cent in 2011, against a global increase in demand of just 5.9 per cent, and despite an increased capacity, seat factors increased by 0.5 per cent to 72.7 per cent. “We also served over half a million more meals than in the previous year, a 13 per cent increase,” added Al Balushi.

Being the service provider in Muscat International Airport, Oman Air handled 6.5 million passengers along with 34,555 flights. There was also an increase in the number of Oman Air flights carried out in 2011 bringing it to 17,780 round trips.

Oman Airís move towards long-term profitability continued apace in 2011. While the company has reported a loss of OMR110 million ($285 million) during the year, the results for the year were impacted by 38 per cent increase in fuel price which alone increased the expenditure by OMR37 million ($96 million). But for this steep increase in fuel price, the loss for the year would have been lower compared to the previous year which is a significant achievement, especially considering the fact that the airline deployed significant increase of 21 per cent in the capacity across the network. The airline reported improved yields and seat factors despite higher capacity.

“We also saw revenues increase by 35 per cent to OMR311.3 million ($808 million), reflecting international recognition of, and demand for, Oman Air’s products and services. Both passenger and cargo revenue registered handsome growth over the previous year. This was at the time when the European crisis impacted traffic from and to Europe,” said Al Balushi.

The carrier took delivery of the first of its Embraer E175 regional jets in 2011.