The impact of market developments
The year 2006 will be an interesting year, to say the least.
With the Government of Abu Dhabi’s decision to withdraw its ownership from Gulf Air, the airline will eventually increase its frequencies and capacity in both the Sultanate of Oman as well as the Kingdom of Bahrain. Oman Aviation Services, the ground handler in the Sultanate and parent company of Oman Air, will witness an increase in revenue due to increased ground handling, catering and line maintenance activities due to Gulf Air’s increased capacity. However, Oman Air, as an airline, foresees a sharp drop in yields due to the presence of far more capacity than demand in a relatively small market.
Positioning and strategy
Oman Air in 2006 will continue to be a niche carrier in the sense that its operations are concentrated on a 5-hour radius from Muscat using state-of-the-art Boeing 737NGs. Cost being a major factor for 2006 and for many years to come, Oman Air is focusing more and more on IT solutions and outsourcing options to reduce its costs while improving passengers’ experience.
Fuel being one of the major costs, Oman Air installed late 2005, winglets for its B737-800 fleet. This move has achieved an average of 3 per cent saving in fuel consumption.
The year 2006 will witness full implementation of e-ticketing for Oman Air. Oman Air started e-ticketing initiative in late 2005 and stations have been cut over to e-ticketing ever since. Before the second half of 2006, Oman Air will launch its new website which will also be e-booking empowered along with downloadable schedules.
For the consumer
The year will witness the launch of our very own frequent flyer programme called Sindbad after the famous Omani sailor. The programme will have the usual three levels, i.e. Gold, Silver and Green, however, the benefits that will be gained by members will be far more than what they get elsewhere.
In general, we see a positive 2006 ahead. Our on-time performance of +90 per cent and dispatch reliability rate of 99.7per cent coupled with more non-stop services to and from Oman, has made Oman Air the passengers’ choice. The company is looking at converting one of its B737-700 to B737-800 and possibly an additional Boeing 737-800 later in 2006 or early 2007.
Major focus will be given to our valued passengers. A newly-established product enhancement committee will oversee the introduction and implementation of any and all measures to assure a smooth experience by our valuable passengers from the time they contact Oman Air up to their final destination. Simply, the Committee’s function and responsibility is to hold true our motto, ‘Fly with Friends.’
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