OMAN AIR announced major growth in uptake by passengers of its inflight mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity. Between January 2012 and January 2013, the airline experienced a 130 per cent increase in internet package sales and a 180 per cent increase in connectivity revenues. Mobile phone connectivity is charged at roaming rates by individual service providers.
Oman Air’s Muscat to London Heathrow service saw the greatest use of inflight connectivity and the most popular method of accessing the internet was via smart phones, indicating that most users relied on the connectivity service for leisure, rather than work, purposes.
Welcoming the figures, CEO Wayne Pearce said, “Oman Air was the first airline in the world to offer both mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity inflight and I am delighted that our customers value this service so much.”
“The increase in passengers’ use of the service in 2012 underlines their growing expectation that similar levels of connectivity should be available in the air as they are on the ground. I am pleased that the continued increase in uptake since we introduced the service in 2010 shows that Oman Air still leads the field in this area,” he added.
Oman Air’s inflight wi-fi connectivity is available in a range of packages, designed to suit customers’ differing requirements. Coverage is available throughout Oman Air’s range of long haul services, except when flying over countries such as India, which prohibit on-board mobile phone and wi-fi communications. However, the airline’s Muscat to Bangkok services, which overfly India, report the second highest rate of uptake, after Muscat to London.
“Digital communications are playing an increasingly important role in all our lives and, in addition to on-board connectivity and services such as online booking and web check-in, Oman Air is rapidly expanding its online customer engagement. Our social media presence is growing daily and we are offering many more online-only special offers than ever before,” said Pearce.
The airline also announced its new codeshare partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, the national carrier of Ethiopia on the Muscat and Addis Ababa sectors, which will offer greater choice for customers of the two airlines. This codeshare agreement will cover flights between the Omani capital of Muscat and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The service will be operated using Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and will build on the airline’s four flights per week between the two cities.
Pearce said: “With the signing of this new codeshare, seamless travel via Muscat to Ethiopia from any one of Oman Air’s many destinations across the Middle East, Europe and Asia has become convenient and easy, giving customers even greater opportunities to see the world and to experience Oman Air’s legendary hospitality.
“The codeshare also expands the choice available to those travelling from Ethiopia, who can now fly via Muscat to any one of Oman Air’s 42 global destinations.”
Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines CEO said: “Ethiopian continually works to enhance the connectivity options of its passengers. The codeshare agreement with Oman Air gives our passengers more flight options as well as convenient and hassle free connection to points Ethiopian doesn’t fly directly. It also affords Oman Air customers the benefit of Ethiopian Airline’s extensive network in Africa currently covering 60 cities on the continent.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.