Oman Air seeks more weekly seat entitlement from India
Gulf carrier Oman Air stated on Tuesday that it is in discussions with the Indian government for increasing the weekly seat entitlement to enable expansion of its services in the rapidly growing aviation market.
The Oman’s flagship carrier, which has completed 25 years into the business, at present, operates 161 flights per week to eleven Indian cities, utilising the 27,000 seats allocated to airlines from each country. Oman is seeking an increase in seats and access to Ahmedabad and Kolkata, which will boost its Indian presence. Seat entitlements and access to destinations are negotiated between respective governments.
“We are working with the Indian government to give us more seats. We are in discussions with the Indian government and are very positive about getting additional weekly seats,” said Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Oman Air chief executive officer, while interacting with the media.
“Oman has very strong relations with India and it is happy with the current seat entitlement under the air services agreement between the two countries, however, like any other airline, we would like to operate more seats, as for us India is a main market,” said Raisi.
“We feel that because of our close relations with India, we should get more weekly seat entitlements,” he added.
Oman received 3.21 lakh Indian visitors in 2017, registering an year-on-year growth of over 7 per cent, and the estimated growth for 2018 is at 18 per cent, owing to the growing demand from leisure, wedding, adventure and MICE travellers, according to Sunil VA, regional vice-president ISC, Oman Air.
India is the second most important market for the airline after Oman and contributes to around 15 per cent of its sales. While a majority of traffic from India flies onward beyond Muscat, the airline is aiming for an increase in point to point traffic between the two countries. Muscat is the second largest destination in the West Asia region for Indian travellers after Dubai.