in Air Transport / Airports
Oman contemplating launching its own LCC
Oman is mulling over the potential for launching its own low cost carrier (LCC) in response to a growth of LCCs targeting the Omani market.
The chief executive of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation Salim Nasser Said al Aufi told journalists at the Arab Aviation and Media Summit in Salalah that the sultanate will have at least one LCC by this time next year with a possibility of more licences being issued.
Al Aufi said the aviation authority was also considering other aviation aspects including budget airlines, executive aviation and helicopter aviation.
He said, "We are looking at restructuring the aviation sector, including some of the companies. The next two-to-three years will see a lot of work and the aviation business in Oman will be changed completely."
The development of LCCs in the Oman market is fairly new but s already 7% of the market. "In the most developed markets the share of low-cost carriers is roughly 20-30 per cent. This shows that the Oman market holds great promise and that is why we want to introduce a local low-cost carrier that can serve the local market,” Al Aufi said.
Already there is talk that the existing airport in Muscat may be turned into either a low cost carrier terminal ,a domestic airport or a hybrid handling both once the new Muscat International Airport becomes operational next year,
“After we shift to the new airport, which is slated to be complete in 2014, the existing one will cater to those airlines that need low cost services. Some airlines want to park for long hours at a low cost. However, this will be decided only after the new airport becomes operational,” an official at the airport company said.
Al Aufi said there was still discussion as to whether any new LCC would be part of Oman Air or operating under its own management structure.