Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Oman denies reports of plan to launch new airline

Oman Aviation Group says it is working on an investment programme to promote and connect regional airports in the Sultanate

Oman Aviation Group denies reports of the country establishing a new carrier in the Gulf nation. Delores Johnson / The National
Oman Aviation Group denies reports of the country establishing a new carrier in the Gulf nation. Delores Johnson / The National

Oman Aviation Group denied media reports of plans to set up a new regional airline that could take over domestic operations from state-owned Oman Air.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Oman Aviation this month issued a request for proposals for a feasibility study to set up an airline Oman Link. Proposals are to be submitted by November 11.

"Oman Aviation Group denies reports regarding establishing a new airline company," the state-owned entity said on its Twitter account. "The group is working on developing a promotional and investment programme called ‘Oman Link’, which aims to promote and connect regional airports in the Sultanate."

Oman Aviation was formed in 2018 and includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services. Oman is home to full-services airline Oman Air and budget arm Salam Air.

In April, Oman Aviation, which oversees the sultanate’s national airline and airports, said it plans to raise about $6 billion (Dh22bn) to finance the aviation sector's expansion as it seeks to develop non-oil sectors.

Oman Aviation put out a request for proposals to local and international banks, expecting to secure the first tranche by June 2020, its chief executive Mustafa Al Hinai told The National in April. The $6bn will be staggered in tranches over the next 10 years to fund the expansion of the country's airports and national airline.

Oman, the largest Arab oil producer outside Opec, is growing its tourism sector after a drop in crude prices in 2014 hit the country’s budget.

Updated: October 23, 2019 06:54 PM

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