Bangkok would get a share of the increased capacity that Oman Air is working to put in place early next year, allowing the airline to ramp up the frequency of its busy Bangkok-Muscat service.
Oman Air’s chief commercial officer Abdulrazaq Alraisi visits the airline’s Suvarnabhumi airport lounge yesterday.
The Oman flag carrier is negotiating to lease two Airbus 330 jetliners for its long-haul flights to add to its current seven A330s.
Leasing is seen as a quick way to boost its long-distance flight capacity before the six Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has ordered begin to roll into its fleet in 2015.
With the extra capacity from the leased A330s, Oman Air plans to add 2-4 flights a week on the Bangkok-Muscat sector, which is now served by 14 flights a week, chief commercial officer Abdulrazaq Alraisi said yesterday.
Despite negative events in Thailand including political unrest and floods, Oman Air has fared relatively well in terms of business, due partly to what Mr Alraisi described as more appealing in-flight products and service.
For the first 10 months of this year, Oman Air's operation in Thailand recorded a 37% rise in revenue and carried 45% more passengers with a seat factor of 86%, according to Ahmed Hazeem Al Balushi, the airline's district sales manager.
The airline plans to maintain the pace next year with a 40% increase in revenue, 60% increase in passenger volume and a 90% seat factor.
"The records achieved this year are relatively positive, but yields, or profit margin, are a bit of a concern due to too much competition," said Mr Balushi.
Introduced five years ago, the non-stop Bangkok-Muscat service has proved to be an increasingly important route for Oman Air.
As testimony to the importance it places on Thailand as a port of call, Oman Air a year ago opened a premium passenger lounge at Suvarnabhumi airport, the first outside its Muscat base.
Mr Alraisi said passenger traffic is increasing between the Thai and Omani capitals, with Omanis coming to Thailand for medical, leisure and business purposes, while more Thais are going to Muscat, thanks to visa-on-arrival convenience.
Asked whether Oman Air would put its B787s, described as state-of-the-art commercial airliners, on the route when they are available, Mr Alraisi said: "Why not?"
The airline operates two versions of the A330 on the Bangkok-Muscat sector. The A330-330 is configured with six seats in first class, 20 in business and 204 in economy, while the A330-200 has 20 seats in business class and 196 in economy.
Oman Air is looking to add new destinations to its current 42. It has 28 aircraft in its fleet.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business