A positive future and continued expansion will be the focus for Oman Air, as the airline starts the year of 2016 with their major global conference in Muscat, under the theme “To Become the Best”.
The conference will be officially opened today by Maithaa bint Saif al-Mahrouqiyah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Deputy Chairman of Oman Air and hosted by Paul Gregorowitsch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oman Air.
Up to 400 staff drawn from throughout Oman Air’s growing international network will gather in the Omani capital tomorrow (Thursday). Following a briefing on the airline’s established vision, objectives and values, and an update on the results for 2015, they will hear about Oman Air’s outlook for the coming year. Delegates will then be invited to contribute their own views and ideas about how Oman Air’s products and services can be best delivered in 2016.
Oman Air’s vision, objectives and values were put in place following Paul Gregorowitsch’s appointment in 2014. They have been integrated into all areas of Oman Air’s organisation since then and have underpinned the very positive results achieved last year.
The airline’s theme set in 2014, ‘To Become the Best,’ has set the tone for all Oman Air’s activities. Its implicit emphasis on the highest quality standards provides a clear focus for the delivery of Oman Air’s objectives.
First among those objectives is the continuation of Oman Air’s over-riding commitment to safety. This enables delivery of the carrier’s second objective: to remain the airline of first choice. Further to the positive financial developments of 2015, the third objective is to make money and to achieve an operational break-even point in Oman Air’s finances by 31st December 2017. Achieving the third objective will, in part, be facilitated by the fourth, to cater for growth – a crucial part of Oman Air’s work, as it continues its expansion program. Improved financial performance will, in turn, enable Oman Air to achieve its fifth objective and to make a positive financial and economic contribution to the Sultanate of Oman. And in delivering Oman Air’s vision and objectives, staff at all levels of the company will retain their commitment to the airline’s values of trust and respect, transparency and integrity, taking responsibility, teamwork and fun.
During the press conference, which was held at the Golden Tulip Muscat today by Paul Gregorowitsch, CEO of Oman Air with Abdulrahman bin Harith al-Busaidi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Oman Air, Gregorowitsch said: “Significantly, Oman Air’s financial results for 2015 saw a major reduction of 42 per cent in the airline’s loss per passenger. This was thanks largely to changes in fuel prices. In addition, the Government of Oman’s financial support for Oman Air was reduced from RO 130 million in 2014 to RO 54 million in 2015.
He added: “Over the coming year, Oman Air will build on these positive outcomes. A further 45 per cent reduction in the loss per passenger will be achieved, and government support will be further reduced to RO 40 million in 2016”.
He further said that a second frequency will be added to the carrier’s current daily non-stop service between Muscat and London Heathrow. Oman Air’s Muscat to Paris service will also be increased to offer daily flights throughout the week.
Gregorowitsch added that the launch of new destinations, increased frequencies and expanded cargo operations will be supported by the arrival in 2016 of more new aircraft. Two new Boeing 787-800s will bring Oman Air’s Dreamliner strength to four aircraft and the addition of four new Boeing 737-800s will further enhance the airline’s short and medium haul capacity and support flexible network planning.
He pointed out that Oman Air’s Shape and Size program will remain in full effect throughout 2016, supporting increased efficiency and ongoing cost reductions throughout the company. In addition, Oman Air will increase the percentage of Omani citizens it employs from 62 per cent in 2015 to 63 per cent in 2016, in line with its commitment to the Sultanate’s policy of Omanisation.
He further said that supporting enhanced employment opportunities in the Sultanate will also be achieved through Oman Air’s continuing investment in the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and support for national sustainability programs. Meanwhile pilot training and career development will be enhanced following the opening of Oman Air’s own simulator building later this year.
Gregorowitsch pointed out that Oman Air’s joint venture with Luxembourg-based freight specialists Cargolux will see further growth over the next 12 months, increasing both airlines’ contribution to the development of Oman as a global cargo hub.
Beyond Oman Air’s expansion program, the carrier’s pledge to achieving sustainable profitability and contributing to the economic, social and cultural life of the nation has been reaffirmed.
Abdulrahman al-Busaidi, COO of Oman Air said: “Additionally, Oman Air’s ambitious fleet and network expansion program, which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2014, will continue apace in 2016.
He added that the national carrier’s role in bringing increased numbers of visitors to Oman will be enhanced in 2016 through its increased capacity, its expanded network and even closer co-operation with the Omani Ministry of Tourism.
He pointed out that a new service from Muscat to China will be launched in July 2016 and services to India will be increased following a recent extension of Oman Air’s entitlements to fly to the country. Services between Muscat and Iran will also be developed further in 2016.