Tuesday December 12, 2006
Oman Air management presented a five-year business plan that includes expansion into long-haul services to its board and the country's Ministry of National Economy, according to CEO Ziad Karim Al-Haremi.
"We're looking to develop a network spanning 42 destinations, of which 11 [would be] long-haul," he told ATWOnline in Kuwait recently, adding that the carrier is aiming to commence its first long-haul flights in fall 2008.
Oman Air plans to introduce three long-haul aircraft into its fleet in 2008 and an additional two in 2009. "We're seeking aircraft with 230/240-seat capacity, which leaves us initially only with the A330 and in a later stage maybe the 787 when it comes," noted Al-Haremi, who was appointed acting CEO in September 2005 and confirmed as permanent CEO in October. According to insiders, the carrier also is considering the 767-300ER or dash 400ER. Its first long-haul aircraft will be leased.
Al-Haremi said long-haul destinations could include London, Paris, Stockholm, Zurich, Milan, Munich, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok for outbound traffic. The airline, in which the Oman government holds a 34% stake, presently operates 10 aircraft: Three 737-700s, three dash 800s and four ATRs. It will phase out two ATRs by the end of 2008. It is scheduled to receive two new 737-800s in May 2007 and March 2008 and recently decided to take in an additional dash 800 next year. "We will lease the latter," he said. "We need it to support our rapid growth."
The carrier recently launched thrice-weekly service from its Muscat hub to Amman. In May it will commence flights to Damascus and Teheran and in June it will add two new points in India and increase frequencies to its existing Indian destinations under a new bilateral between India and Oman.
Oman Air carried 931,753 passengers in the first nine months of the year, up 10% over the previous year, with a load factor of 75%.
by Cathy Buyck
Source: ATW Online 12-Dec-06
Edited by Sandeep G, 12 December 2006 - 03:06 PM.