Dubai is one of the most growing markets for Oman Air due to the relationship between the two countries and the borders they share in several areas. Shahzad Naqvi, Country Manager– Dubai and Northern Emirates, Oman Air shares details about how the carrier has steadily been benchmarking Dubai as an important hub.
Q) How did Oman Air fare in terms of business last year?
What were the strong sectors? Oman Air has been performing extremely well in Dubai in all its segments as it has grown its market share which now stands at its all-time best. The growth comes with the support of award winning premium products to Europe and Far East routes where Oman Air operates state-of-theart 787 Dreamliners and A330 aircrafts. With nine daily flights between UAE and Muscat, guests get an excellent connecting time in Muscat before they continue their onward journey. The new airport will add to our guest’s already seamless experience whilst in transit.
Q) Were any new codeshares or products introduced last year? Are there any in line for this year
Whilst there has been an emphasis on keeping costs down, the fleet and network has continued to grow. Oman Air has invested in its award-winning on-board experience, website and Sindbad loyalty programme. In 2017, Oman Air introduced codeshares with Malaysia Airlines, Gulf Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. So far this year, the airline has entered into similar agreements with Bangkok Airways and Kuwait Airways, thereby opening up more international destinations to guests. Dreamliner is a new aircraft which is a crowd-puller for certain sectors.
Q) Please shed light on this.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers industry-leading technology and an excellent inflight experience. This innovative and comfortable aircraft is a crowd-puller for all sectors, but particularly comes into its own on longer flights due to its unpararelled fuel efficiency and ability to fly further without stopping.
Q) How does Oman Air cater to the market trends in technology to be above the rest?
We have a detailed digital strategy at Oman Air and are committed to benefits of technology and its development. A crucial part of our recent technological change has been to undertake a comprehensive mapping of processes throughout the company. Recent digital innovations include the introduction of an electronic flight bag and ipads to our pilots. The use of iPads is set to be extended to a number of areas within the airline’s operations, including cabin crew, engineering teams and ground handling. Another digital innovation has been the introduction of online in-flight meal and drinks reservations for First Class customers.
Q What was the role played by Oman Air in the recently-opened Muscat International Airport?
As a key stakeholder in Muscat International Airport, Oman Air was involved in the redevelopment, new lounges and dedicated check-in areas, which was designed to match our requirements. We have signed an agreement to develop and construct a new Crew Reporting Building at the airport. The new OMR7.6 million facility is scheduled to be completed soon.
Q)How do exhibitions such as ATM contribute towards the promotion of the airline?
The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the region’s leading trade fair tailored for the travel fraternity. Exhibitors use this platform to showcase their newly launched products and services, place new orders and network with professionals. Oman Air has long been a participant at ATM. The travel show is attended by its senior management to meet suppliers and customers not only from the UAE but from across the globe.
Q) Do you have any new campaign for the GCC?
Oman Air works closely with the Ministry of Tourism on various campaigns for these markets. Salalah is a key destination which is popular in the GCC market and mostly visited during the summers. Oman Air runs special campaigns aimed at maximising visitor inflow to Oman during the Kharif season. Besides Salalah, other interesting places in Oman include Khasab known for its scenic beauty; Jebel Akkhdar, a nature reserve known for its biodiversity; Ras Al Jinz, a nesting place for the endangered green turtle, and Nizwa, Sur and Sohar, to name a few.
Q) Does Oman Air have the possibility of catering to the visa requirements of passengers?
Visas for international visitors to Oman are now only available online, and Oman Air fully supports this new process that was put in place by the Sultanate from March 2018