Oman Air approves major restructuring programme to stem losses and reduce debt

Airline also considering integration with Omani's SalamAir under four-year plan

SALALAH. 17th July 2009. Luggage is unloaded from the hold of an Oman Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft  at  Salalah airport, Oman.  Stephen Lock  /  The National . FOR BUSINESS. *** Local Caption ***  SL-airport-035.jpg
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Oman will restructure its national airline in a “comprehensive programme” over the span of three to four years, with the aim of stemming the company's losses and reducing debt.

The restructuring programme at Oman Air is based on a study by global consultancy Oliver Wyman that assessed the airline's financial and commercial performance, and recommended measures for sustainable commercial operations, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Oman Air will restructure with the aim of improving its basic operational performance and enabling it to better meet the needs of the market,” the airline said, citing Saeed Al Mawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, and chairman of Oman Air.

The programme is based on the four main pillars of financial sustainability, corporate governance, commercial operations and human capital, it said.

The country is seeking to turn its flagship airline around as it seeks to boost its tourism sector and diversify its economy away from oil. The sultanate aims to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to gross domestic product to 5 per cent by 2030 and to 10 per cent by 2040, from 2.4 per cent in 2021.

It also plans to attract 11.7 million tourists by 2040, up from 2.9 million in 2022. To reach these goals, the Gulf nation is looking to attract more than $51 billion in investment.

Oman Air's restructuring programme will also include changes to its current board of directors and executive management team in the coming months, the airline said, without providing further details.

The airline is also re-evaluating its network to make a decision on whether to continue operating in certain destinations.

Integration with Oman's budget airline SalamAir is also “high on the programme’s agenda”, Oman Air said.

SalamAir operates an all-Airbus fleet of six A320 Neos, six A321 Neos and one A321 freighter.

In June, it announced a firm commitment to lease three A330 Neo wide-body aircraft from plane lessor Avolon to support its network expansion plans. The first of these deliveries is expected in October.

With the addition of Fujairah in June, SalamAir now serves a total of 39 destinations across 13 countries after starting commercial operations in 2017.

Updated: August 08, 2023, 2:53 PM