August 16, 2017
 
Oman Air

Sunil V A, Regional Vice President - ISC (Indian Sub Continent), Oman Air, talks about India being a key market for Oman Air and it's plans to attract corporate travellers from India

Anju Anna Alex

Mr. Paul Gregorowitsch CEO, Oman Air, visited India to mark the special occasion and met with the airline’s top travel agents in the country. He also met with Oman Air’s key commercial partners and senior media representatives.
Speaking on the completion of 24 years of operations in India, Mr. Gregorowitsch said, “India has always been, and will continue to remain, a key market for Oman Air. We are delighted to be offering thousands more guests the opportunity to travel between Oman and India. Oman and India enjoy a close and historic relationship and Indian air travellers have played an important part in Oman Air’s success. The first international service that Oman Air launched in India was to Trivandrum in November 1993. Since then, we have launched 10 more destinations. The demand for all 11 of our Indian destinations has always been high and the increased frequencies this year offer more choice and convenience to our guests. The extended traffic entitlements will give a further boost to the tourism sector, prompting many discerning tourists to visit magnificent Oman as well as beautiful India. We look forward to welcoming many more Indian air travellers aboard our aircraft as we continue our ambitious fleet and network expansion programme.”

Over the past year in the Indian market, Oman Air has seen an average rate of close to 80% in seat occupancy and has increased its seat capacity by 30%. The fact that the aviation sector in India is so dynamic and forward-thinking, not to mention the third largest in the world, has made it an important market for the airline. However, there are challenges facing the airline in India, due to the lack of infrastructure at some of its airports. Commenting on this issue, Mr. Paul Gregorowitsch said: “In Mumbai, we are moving from double daily flights to triple daily flights. While we have bilaterals, the infrastructure is quite difficult as there is only one runway," Gregorowitsch added.

Further investments in India
According to Sunil V A, Regional Vice President - ISC (Indian Sub Continent), Oman Air, "Within the last year, the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of India have agreed to increase the number of flights between the two countries. Starting on 1 August 2017, Oman Air introduced a third daily flight from Mumbai to Muscat, which increases the weekly capacity from 154 to 161 flights. Delhi, Calicut and Hyderabad now have 21 weekly flights each, and Lucknow operates 14 weekly flights. Oman Air is expected to operate 70 aircrafts by 2020, which will fly to as many as 75 destinations thereby increasing its network and reach across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe."

About the impending open sky air service agreement between the two countries
We can’t currently comment on this matter other than to say that we are pursuing an open sky air service agreement, which would allow for airlines from the two countries to have an unlimited number of flights as well as seats to each other's jurisdictions.

Plans in traction to attract more business and premium corporate travellers from India
Oman Air’s commitment to quality, comfort and a seamless passenger experience has resulted in widespread acclaim. Its numerous accolades include being named World’s Leading Business Class Airline – Middle East by The World Travel Awards four years in a row and receiving the coveted Signum Virtutis, the seal of excellence, from the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards 2016. The airline was also awarded the Skytrax World Airline Award for Best Business Class Seat in the World (2011, 2012), the World Travel Award for World’s Leading Airport Lounge – Business Class 2015 and was named the best airline in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
As the fleet continues to grow, the airline is committed to providing guests with the latest technology and best possible on-board experience. Understanding the need for privacy, Oman Air has designed its award-winning business class seats offering just 20 seats in the 1-2-1 seat-configuration. The electrically controlled backrest, leg-rest and seat-depth of the business class seat make sure effortless comfort is achieved. Its 77.5-inch long, fully-flat seat is carefully created to give that much needed rest whilst on a long haul flight.

The configuration is slightly different on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which features 30 award-winning flat-bed Business Class Suites, designed by BE Aerospace, and the award-winning Thales’ Integrated In-Flight entertainment system. The entertainment system offers a wide selection of on-demand entertainment delivered through a passenger experience interface developed in collaboration with Oman Air. Whether flying First Class or Business Class, a range of modern and traditional fine-dining dishes have been specially selected. The airline’s award-winning Champagnes and wines have been chosen to complement the food choices. An array of fine-teas, coffees and non-alcohol beverages are also offered to suit different palates.

Expected growth in terms of passengers from India given that Gulf carriers are going through a difficult time
Oman Air has added 5,067 seats this summer. In the winter schedule, it will add 1,821 seats as the bilateral agreement between Oman and India was revised to permit the carrier to operate additional seats. The total number of weekly flights has now increased from 128 to 161, allowing the airline to move to a total of 27,405 seats - 28,000 seats is the maximum permitted between Oman and India. Oman Air’s service to India has a loyal patronage from its guests, who mainly come from Oman’s Indian expatriate community.

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