November 24, 2022

Oman Air will continue its expansion and recover its market share in India

India accounts for a significant portion of Oman Air’s overall network traffic and is one of the key markets after Oman. India will continue to be a large target market with increased frequencies expected from October and then later in 2023, says Sunil VA, Country Manager – India, Oman Air. In this interaction with Sunil, we also understand that the airline is also playing an active role in shaping the future of tourism in Oman through its holiday arm.

– Prashant Nayak

Oman Air resumed regular operations in India at the end of March 2022 with a cautious approach, operating flights ranging from once to three times a week from eight key cities in India – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad and Kozhikode. This development has further boosted their customers’ confidence to travel again.

All COVID-19 preventive safety precautions and procedures previously in place at airports and across Oman were lifted on May 22, 2022. As more countries lifted travel restrictions, Oman Air has seen a rapid acceleration of the growth in air travel, allowing them to connect with their passengers to Oman Air’s wider network from India.

“Our occupancy rate has continued to increase. In June, we were operating seven flights per week from seven cities in India, increasing frequency to 110 flights per week between India and Muscat as demand grew. Load factors remained at 80% with continued demand and increased capacity making fares attractive. Additionally, we recently held a global promotion to stimulate demand and encourage more customers to travel. Between Muscat and operational destinations in India, we have introduced wide-body service, including the B787 Dreamliner and Airbus A330 in addition to the Boeing 737,” says Sunil.

Currently, Oman Air has been steadily increasing the frequency of its operations with increasing demand. As of August 2022, they are operating ten weekly flights to Kochi, Delhi and Chennai, bringing the total to 122 weekly flights between Muscat and eight Indian destinations. “These additions have consistently boosted tourism in Oman. The five recent city tours to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore were led by Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, which received an excellent response. We hope this will further boost tourism activity in Oman,” says Sunil.

Oman Air’s current network covers 42 destinations. From eight operating cities in India, the airline offers convenient connections to European points such as Istanbul, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Milan, Zurich and the recently launched Trabzon. Extensive connectivity including major airports in the Middle East and Africa are their USPs. Through their partners such as Qatar Airways, American Airlines and Egypt Air, they extend connectivity to more than 15 destinations in the United States and Canada.

Regarding connecting and marketing with their travel business partners in India, Sunil explains, “We have constantly been connected and engaged with travel and business partners in India as they contribute a significant portion of our global business in India. We have finalized plans for this fiscal year and are considering ad hoc projects with our business partners as the opportunity arises. India accounts for a significant portion of Oman Air’s total revenue. Oman Air’s strategy is also to grow and recover market share in India.

Oman Air continues to innovate based on customer preferences. Recently, they won the 2022 Passenger Choice Award® for Best Seat Comfort in the Middle East by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). “Our goal is also to meet customer demand with ancillary services based on customer preferences. To meet growing demand and changing customer preferences, on our NDC platform, retailers and travel agents can offer end-to-end booking and ticketing for Oman Air, Interline and Airline flights. codeshare with attractive discounts on all fare types and ancillary services. products,” says Sunil.

The airline is also constantly striving to boost tourism in Oman and the Middle East. Through Oman Air Holidays, they offer a wide variety of attractive packages in the region. Sharing more details about their holiday deals, Sunil said, “We continue to facilitate travel for football fans for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. We will be operating 48 Match Day Shuttle flights between Muscat and Doha from November 21 to December 3, 2022. Our special and customizable holiday offers include exclusive hotel packages, special rates and services. Whether you are visiting for a few hours, one night or several days, we have what it takes to make your experience truly memorable. We have also partnered with major hotels in Oman through our vacation department and tourists can continue to Oman with exciting adventures, breathtaking natural beauty and experience true Omani hospitality.

Sunil concludes, “With strong demand, we are seeing promising growth and soon plan to launch double daily flights from major Indian cities and increase frequencies from 14 to 21 weekly flights between India and Oman. The network continues to expand alongside the increase in flights to India and we are confident of reaching its full potential by summer 2023.”