With the recent signing of memorandums of understanding (MoU) with aviation authorities of India and Pakistan, Oman Air may announce an increase in the frequency of flights to both the countries in 2013.
The national carrier is likely to double its frequency on the Delhi and Chennai routes in India by introducing two flights a day from the current one while plans are afoot to increase the frequency of flights to both Islamabad and Lahore to daily. Currently, the airline flies four times a week to Lahore and three times to Islamabad.
The MoU signed last month between Omani and Indian aviation authorities paved the way for increasing the number of seats offered by airlines from India and Oman to 16,016 per week, up from the previous 11,550.
After the MoU signing, it was agreed that Oman Air will divide these seats over 14 weekly flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, seven to Bengaluru, Calicut, Jaipur, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow, in addition to six weekly flights to Goa.
From Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, Oman Air currently operates two flights a day or 14 weekly flights to Mumbai alone, while seven weekly flights operate on the remaining routes. And on the Bengaluru, Calicut, Jaipur, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow routes, the airline operates seven flights a week to all except Bengaluru and Jaipur, where it flies six times a week. The airline does not fly to Goa.
A senior Oman Air official said, “As you know, new bilateral agreements with India and Pakistan have recently been announced, and we are considering increasing frequencies accordingly.”
Moreover, Oman Air is also planning to increase frequency on the Muscat-Bangkok sector by two to four flights, from the current 14 a week.