Oman Air suspends loss-making Sohar Airport operations
MUSCAT: Oman Air decided to temporarily suspend the Muscat- Sohar route flights as they did not achieve the targeted results since inauguration in November 2014 after thorough study of the pertaining situation to Sohar Airport operations. Oman Air’s strategic intention is to safely serve its guests and generate economic returns which contribute in strengthening the company’s financial position through an integrated and coordinated network.
The airline company has certain economic standards and criteria that define any route’s strength, continuity or permanent/temporary suspension. In this regard, Oman Air held numerous meetings with the companies and travel agencies at Sohar on periodic bases, where they were offered special passenger fares along with other privileges so as to promote flights and support connectivity of the route from Sohar to Oman Air’s global network. However, no economic return or impact has been derived for those initiatives, despite the economic challenges the company and country are currently facing.
The aim to achieve an ambitious and systematic profitability should not contradict with the company’s long-term goals, maintaining at the same time transparency and objectiveness.The airline has removed Sohar destination from its flight booking website also.
In 2014, when the Sohar airport was opened, Oman Air started operating three flights per week in Muscat-Sohar route.
Abdulrahman Al Busaidy, chief operating officer of Oman Air, had said according to a report in Times of Oman that Muscat-Sohar operation will be in loss initially, but the government will be giving financial support for a year.He also added that it may take two years to achieve break-even.
Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat) is operating more than 8 daily bus services from and to Sohar which connect passengers with domestic and international flights around the clock from and to Muscat International Airport. This will provide alternative transport services to passengers to and from Sohar.
Domestic destinations of Oman Air’s include Salalah, Khasab and Duqum.