MUSCAT, Oman – Oman Air saw revenues increase by 35 per cent to $809 million last year.
But higher fuel costs and other expenses saw the carrier post losses.
Oman Air’s move towards long-term profitability continued apace and while the company has reported a loss of $286m during the year, the results were impacted by 38pc increase in fuel price which alone increased the expenditure by $93m.
But for this steep increase in fuel price, the loss for the year would have been lower compared with the previous year which is a significant achievement, especially considering the fact that the airline deployed significant increase of 21 per cent in the capacity across the network. The airline reported improved yields and seat factors despite higher capacity.
The company carried out a company-wide compensation study and increased staff salaries to bring it in line with the industry and offset increase in cost of living.
“The company continues with its initiative towards the Omanisation process within its various departments and activities, including technical and higher management positions,” said chairman Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi.
“The losses are part of the growth model for the airline and represent investment by the government to build Oman Air to a size where it would be a profitable entity.
“Oman Air with its capacity increase contributes significantly to the non-oil economic growth and tourism for Oman.
“The capacity expansion has also created jobs and more importantly learning and employment opportunities for pilots, engineers and airport operations.”
“Last year was one of both change and consolidation for Oman Air,” he added.
“We have continued our programme of rapid expansion, introduced new aircraft and further enhanced the quality of our products and services.
“We have also invested in training, agreed a number of partnerships and joint ventures and taken a series of measures to improve efficiency.”