Oman Air to launch eight new destinations in 2010
Oman Air will add eight new destinations to its network in 2010 – Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Dar-Es-Salaam, Islamabad, Lahore, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Ain and Milan - it was revealed at the airline’s AGM last week.The airline revealed it had increased capital from RO 300 million to RO 500 million in 2009, carried 2.4 million passengers (up 19% on 2008) and seat utilisation was 61%.HE Ahmed Bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy, Deputy Chairman of Financial Affairs & Energy Resources Council and the Chairman of Oman Air Board said he was confident that “over time”, Oman Air would see “positive returns on investment”.”As per the recent data released by IATA, 2009 was one of the most difficult years for the airline industry in which the airlines collectively lost in excess of $ 11 billion. Globally passenger travel contracted by 3.5 % while cargo movement declined steeply by 10.1%. The industry is expected to show improved results in 2010 as passenger travel is picking up especially in the premium cabins. It will however take time for the business to return to the levels seen before the economic crisis. Financial results of Oman Air too were impacted by adverse economic conditions. Going forward Oman Air will commence flights to Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Dar-Es-Salaam, Islamabad, Lahore, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain in the summer schedule of 2010, with Milan joining the network in the winter schedule,” the Minister added.In his report, His Excellency Macki also said that during 2009, Oman Air added 28% capacity with the addition of five Boeing 737s, four wide-body aircraft and five long-haul destinations, namely, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Male and Colombo. “Our new A330s replaced the wet leased operations on the London and Bangkok routes. We carried 2.4 million passengers, up by 19%. In the context of worldwide recessionary conditions and the new routes introduced during the year, we had a healthy seat utilisation of 61%.”The Minister also shed light on the new airport terminal that will be developed in two phases, the first phase of which is expected to be completed in 2014. This will see the airport’s capacity grow from the present four million to 12 million passengers.