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MUSCAT AIRPORT CITY PLANNED

Oman announces new strategy to boost aviation

MUSCAT, February 26, 2020

The Ministry of Transport in Oman has launched the National Aviation Strategy 2030, aimed at strengthening Oman’s economy by growing the aviation industry in the sultanate.

The strategy aims to boost job creation, increase the local skill base, and coordinate different organisations in the aviation sector. It has a number of key projects:

1. The National Travel Operator (NTO) - an online platform to link Omani travel providers, such as transport services, hotels, and airlines, with customers in target markets. Launched by Oman Aviation Group, in cooperation with Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, the NTO aims to increase the number of inbound, high-value tourists from key commercial markets for Oman, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, India, and the Gulf countries, among others.

2. Oman Aviation Group is adopting a master plan to launch Muscat Airport City. This development district will have five main areas: Muscat Airport Free Zone, devoted to light industries like e-commerce; a logistics gate for air freight; a mixed-use business gate, including office units; an aviation gate for aviation, cultural and social activities, innovation centres and a specialised emergency hospital serving the sector; and a hospitality gate.

3. The strategy also expands on the restructuring of Oman Air to become a destination business model airline. The sultanate’s national carrier is now focused entirely on bringing high-value inbound tourists to Oman – setting it apart from other airlines in the region. This means that it works in tandem with the country’s tourism bodies, coordinates loyalty programs with the local hospitality sector; and focuses on markets with a high number of incoming tourists already, with a strategic use of codeshare partners to expand the network. Oman Air’s ambition is to link Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

4. A comprehensive air freight strategy will help Oman maintain its air cargo market share and support key national industries, like fisheries, in global markets. A new services centre will help international companies looking to increase freight traffic through the Sultanate’s airports.

Unveiled at an event in Muscat, the National Aviation Strategy marks a successful two-year anniversary for Oman Aviation Group. New figures show the economic impact the group is having on Oman, with losses in the country’s aviation sector falling from RO211 million ($546.4 million) to RO93 million ($240.8 million).

Set up in 2018, Oman Aviation Group is the execution arm for the strategy. An umbrella company encompassing Oman Air, Oman Airports and Transom (until recently Oman Aviation Services), Oman Aviation Group is the first company in the world to represent a country’s entire aviation sector.

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, said: “The strategy will enable the aviation sector in the sultanate to compete on a global level with an integrated organisation that aims to secure a bigger share in the international aviation market.”

He added: "The aviation, logistics and travel sectors play an important role in achieving Oman’s Vision 2040 main goals.” - TradeArabia News Service




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