Oman Air the Sultanate of Oman Flag carrier will commence its new first service in Europe as of today Monday, November 26 from the Omani capital Muscat. London Gatwick is the 24th destination for the Muscat-based airline, and Oman Air will operate non-stop flights to London the capital city of the United Kingdom, and the largest city in England that is one of the world's leading business, financial and cultural centers. Mr. Ziad Bin Karim Al Haremi, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Aviation Services (Oman Air) will be heading Oman Air delegation to UK. The represents of this new route for Oman Air comes in a period of rapid growth for the airline, which should see 25 destinations by the end of 2007.
In this regard Corporate Communications & media Department said that Media representatives were invited to join Oman Air delegation onboard the flight, which will mark its first long haul direct and nonstop air service between these two friendly nations. The Media group comprises of Oman News Agency, Oman Television, Oman Radio Arabic and English Services, all six Arabic and English dailies, beside reporters of various renowned regional Media outlets. A press conference, also an official inaugural ceremony will be held at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, situated in the heart of London's Mayfair on Park London on November 27, to commemorate this special occasion.
They added that the Royal Omani Guards Jazz Band consisting of 30 gifted members will also be aboard the inaugural flight to UK, to contribute by excelling in their universal musical repertoires in the main official opening ceremony, thereby making the event an absolute success. The band will enthrall the audience in London, with its musical prowess in jazz as well as contemporary music, in addition to the classic Arabic and Omani renditions. It is worth mentioning that the Jazz Band of the Royal Omani Guards has been trained by the best jazz maestros from UK and has earned a prominent position of being among the best in the field of jazz music. The tireless efforts of the musicians using different keys and tones enabled them to render the best music. The band has performed concerts in many countries in Europe as well as in Egypt.
In conclusion, they notified that the airline within the first six month of 2007 carried 643,724 passengers, which is an unprecedented achievement since operation in 1993. The National Carrier of Oman carried 601,161 Passenger in 2006 and 506,545 passenger in 2005 during the same period respectively. They added that Oman Air has operated 6,727 flights during the first half of 2007, thus raising the seat factor to 78%. The national carrier has managed to exceed the ceiling of the passenger volume achieved in May 2007 by actually carrying 145,708 passengers during the months of July 2007, or an increase by 36% compared to the same month last year, which certainly reflects successful operational policies that have strengthened the company's outstanding performance and contributed to the many achievements on the level of all different department of the company they said. Oman Air has recorded noticeable performance in all operational segments of business. In 2006, the company carried 1.226 million passengers with an increase of 91,000 passengers or 8% arriving at a traffic growth of 2% compared with the year 2005. The average seat factor across the network remained at a healthy level of 76%. The average aircraft utilization remained high at 12.6 block hours per day per aircraft, one of the highest in the industry. In airport services, Oman Aviation Services handled 23,545 flights, an increase of 16%, passenger movement of 4.521 million, an increase of 33%, Cargo tonnage of 67,700 metric tons, an increase of 22% and catered 4.237 million meals to airline passengers, an increase of 28% over the previous year 2005.
Founded in 1993, Oman Air is currently operating direct international flights from Muscat to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Cairo, Beirut, Amman, Jeddah, and Riyadh in the Middle East. Also, operates direct flights to destinations in India such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Chennai, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Karatchi and further to Chittagong in Bangladesh also, operating domestic flights linking Muscat with Khasab and Salalah. In addition, it starts operation today to London.