Oman Air sheds light on the future

Hill…looking forward

With eight new destinations planned for 2010 and the recent delivery of nine new aircraft, Oman Air has repositioned itself as a truly international airline.

At the recently concluded Oman Air extraordinary heneral meeting and annual general meeting, the airline outlined the landmark year that was 2009.

Ahmed Bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy, deputy chairman of financial affairs and energy resources council and the chairman of the Oman Air board, announced that the authorised capital of Oman Air has been increased from RO300 million ($780 million) to RO500 million. “We are confident that over a period of time when the airline has established its presence in the industry and its network has matured, we will see positive returns on investment,” he said.

“As per the recent data released by IATA, 2009 was one of the most difficult years for the airline industry in which airlines collectively lost in excess of $11 billion. Globally passenger travel contracted by 3.5 per cent while cargo movement declined steeply by 10.1 per cent. The industry is expected to show improved results in 2010 as passenger travel is picking up, especially in the premium cabins. It will however take time for the business to return to the levels seen before the economic crisis. The financial results of Oman Air too were impacted by adverse economic conditions. Going forward Oman Air will commence flights to Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Dar-Es-Salaam, Islamabad, Lahore, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain in the summer schedule of 2010, with Milan joining the network in the winter schedule.”

In his report, the minister also said that during 2009, Oman Air added 28 per cent capacity with the addition of five Boeing 737s, four wide-body aircraft and five long-haul destinations, namely Frankfurt, Munich, Male, Colombo and the just-launched service to Paris.

“Our new A330s replaced the wet-leased operations on the London and Bangkok routes. We carried 2.4 million passengers, up by 19 per cent. In the context of worldwide recessionary conditions and the new routes introduced during the year, we had a healthy seat utilisation of 61 per cent,” added Macki.

The airline has also recently taken delivery of a brand new A330 / 300 plane.

Chief executive, Peter Hill, said: “Oman Air’s A330 fleet is growing, with five delivered aircraft so far, one more to come in May and another in the Spring of 2011. The network is expanding fast and our reputation as the most preferred airline is spreading.”

The Minister also shed light on the new airport terminal which will be developed in two phases, the first phase of which is expected to be completed in 2014. This will see the airport’s capacity grow from the present four million to 12 million passengers. He added that these additional modern facilities will mean significant business opportunities for Oman Air.
And he added that the development of the Omani workforce with the company continuing to induct Omani nationals including in managerial and highly skilled technical posts.