Mumbai: Gulf carrier Oman Air Tuesday said 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, currently flies to 11 Indian destinations from its hub in Muscat, operating 27,300 flights per week.
“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," Oman Air chief executive officer Abdulaziz Al Raisi told reporters here.
He said that 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, adding, “But, like any other airline, we would like to operate more seats as for us India is a main market.""We feel that because of our close relations with India, we should get more weekly seat entitlements," he added.
Abdulaziz said that Oman Air may look at Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Amritsar among others, in its next phase of network in India, subject to seat entitlement.
“We are bullish on India, as it is a significant destination for Oman Air both in terms of increasing tourism traffic and in promoting vital trade agreements between the two countries," he added.
He also said that India at present accounts for 15 per cent of Oman Air’s overall business, but refused to elaborate on the same.
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.
Oman Air at present flies to 11 destinations in India - Goa, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode and Jaipur.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.