Oman Air, the flag carrier of Oman, was founded in the year 1981. A member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization, this airline has its primary hub at Muscat International Airport. It caters to more than 50 destinations in 27 countries with a fleet of 43 aircraft, including Boeing, Airbus and Embraer models. This carrier has codeshare agreements with KLM, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airways, Royal Jordanian and a few others. In the month of June 2016, it plans to deploy its award-winning Airbus A320-220 aircraft on its highly popular Muscat-Doha route to offer more flight tickets to its customers.
Scheduled Departure Days
The airline has marked Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays to be the days when four scheduled flights would operate to the Qatar capital. It was in 1996, when the carrier launched its service to Doha, with three weekly flights. Subsequently, the demand increased and this number went up to seven per week. In the first quarter of 2015, the number had gone up to 21 per week with the airline carrying more than 134832 passengers. As of today, it offers 28 flights on a weekly basis on this highly sought-after route.
Aircraft Upgradation: High-on-Demand
The upgrade from narrow-body aircraft to luxurious and spacious A330s on this route by the airline has been done in response to the increasing demand from passengers. Unlike, the narrow-body aircraft, the larger jets like A330s feature 196 Economy class and 20 Business class seats, enable it to carry more passengers and subsequently, aiding in its plans to expand its global network. Earlier, this award-winning aircraft was only deployed by the carrier on long-haul routes. However, after observing the capacity, flexibility and comfort factors of the model, it has been realised that it makes an ideal choice for high-on-demand, short-haul operations as well. It provides a fantastic environment for the carrier to offer its authentic hospitality and warm onboard service, both of which can be experienced by making flight tickets booking with them.
The strategy of deploying this aircraft on this Muscat-Doha route is part of the fleet expansion plan of the carrier. In addition to increasing its fleet size by 70 by 2020, it plans to expand its capacity and frequencies on established routes from its main hub. It maintains that a minimum of 10 to 15 wide body and 20 to 30 narrow-body jets in its fleet will streamline its overhead costs. This may enable it to offer its tickets at lower airfare.
Network Expansion Plans
Oman Air has also announced recently to offer MRO services and crew training to Iranian airlines as part of its bid to expand its network. This is because Iran is fast becoming a hub for aviation. Talks have been going between the concerned authorities to offer simulator capacities as well as repair, maintenance and overhaul business aid to the airlines from Iran. From July 2016, the carrier will have two full-flight simulators, namely Boeing 737 and Airbus A330. It is considering building a bigger simulator training centre at the Sohar Port. If this training centre comes up, then Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 simulators will be added later.
The airline wants to take a big share of the aviation market in Iran, after the European Union and the US dropped several aviation sanctions. In order to do so, it is likely to increase frequency between Muscat and Tehran to thrice a day. It also plans to begin its operations to other Iranian cities, including Isfahan, Mashad and Shiraz. This means that it is highly motivated to increase its regional and domestic flights operations in the coming future.