Oman Air promotes twin-centre tourism

Guest Writer

Oman Air is highlighting the twin-centre holiday opportunities for Oman and the UAE now that it has boosted its network between the two destinations.
The airline’s COO Barry Brown said Oman Air’s new services from Muscat to both Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain offered great potential.
“We are using 50-seat ATRs on the route and while the majority of uplift has been initially labour traffic with a bit of corporate out of Al Ain, we see potential to develop the tourism side next winter - the trade at ITB was very positive about this,” he told TDME.
Meanwhile, a wholesale upgrade of Oman Air’s regional flight operations is underway, with plans to refurbish its fleet of 15 B737s to bring short and medium haul services up to the standards set with its new A330 aircraft.
“We will also get five Embraer 175 aircraft with delivery starting next year, and these will replace the ATRs on short-haul routes,” added Brown.
He said the airline also had seven B787 Dreamliners on order too, scheduled to enter service from 2014.
Facing competition from low-cost carriers eating in to the regional markets, he said Oman Air had the flexibility to go head-to-head on pricing, particularly at times of day when there was competition on Muscat flights.
“With more daily services, we can match the competition on early morning and evening services, for instance, offering 10 to 15 seats at lead-in prices,” he explained.
However, Brown stressed that Oman had no ambitions to copy its neighbours in turning Muscat in to a hub or to grow beyond 50 aircraft: “We want to develop point to point traffic to benefit the sultanate, serving markets in Europe and Asia and delivering a quality product.”
New to the network this month is Kuala Lumpur, while services to Kathmandu, Islamabad and Lahore will be introduced this summer, followed by Milan in the winter schedule, bringing the total to 40.

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