Oman Air 'has escaped worst of global slump'


Oman Air has escaped the worst of the recent slump in the global airline industry following the September 11 terror attacks in the US, a senior airline official has said.

He said Oman's national carrier was an exception in an industry where major international airlines have already resorted to cutting operations and jobs.

"Since our airline is a regional player that is isolated from major routes where a substantial decline in traffic was witnessed, we have not been affected to a large degree," said Edward Grauvogl, Oman Air's director of commercial and strategic planning.

He said that almost a 30 per cent decline in passenger traffic was witnessed in transatlantic (Europe-America) routes, while the Europe-Middle East sector saw a decline of 18 per cent after the US attacks.

But unlike many other airlines, "we have not made any change in our operation after the 11 September attack", said Grauvogl.

However, Grauvogl said the slackness in inbound tourist traffic from Europe was likely to result in a slight decline in the airline's revenue.

As far as the operational costs were concerned, he said a 15 per cent decline in the price of aviation fuel and cutting or waiving of landing and other charges by UAE airports would benefit Oman Air.

Oman Air is set to acquire five new B737 new generation aircraft.