Steady climb by Oman Air
Though starting off small, Oman Air has in a short period of time managed to carve a niche for itself in the competitive Middle East market.
Oman Air has worked over the past two years to establish itself as Oman's own National carrier.This has culminated by achieving, during early 2002, the position as Oman's largest carrier through offering the home market more flights, more seats and more direct destinations from Muscat, than any other carrier operating to and from the Sultanate. This achievement is statistically supported with Oman Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) figures that show that Oman Air now handles more passengers than any other carrier travelling to and from Oman, and more passengers travelling through the Muscat hub on a connecting basis. The year 2003 will be primarily a year of consolidation for the significant number of new routes launched during 2002. In that year, Oman Air further expanded its network from 14 to 20 online service points. During 2002, Oman Air completely renewed its jet fleet to all brand new B737NG aircraft. The last of these will join the fleet in July 2003, to replace the last operating leased aircraft. Growth for 2003 will encompass only a new service to Delhi, subject to Government approval of this planned route. Also during 2003, frequency will be increased on the routes to East Africa and Cairo. The services between Muscat and Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be increasingly switched to a B737 operation, with the smaller ATR aircraft being increasingly withdrawn from scheduled services. Longer term, Oman Air is evaluating opportunities for additional frequencies to Indian destinations, Beirut, Kuwait, Colombo, East Africa and on the Muscat-Salalah route. Oman Air also plans new services to additional Indian points (subject to Government approval), Teheran, Bahrain and a new service on the Khasab-Dubai route. In addition to these growth plans Oman Air is investigating the possibility of moving into long-haul services from Oman to Europe and the Far East. Traffic to and from India continues to be robust and fast growing, despite global problems in the travel market. Oman Air's recently implemented routes to Cairo and Beirut show good strength.