Friday, April 24, 2009

Oman Air, Emirates going to increase flights

The Dubai-based Emirates airline is looking at increasing its frequencies on its 10 Indian flights, Oman Air is planning to add about 24 more flights to its 76 india flights per week schedule. The airline is also in talks with Indian authorities to add five more destinations, including Goa, Pune and Mangalore in India.

Tim Clark, president, Emirates, said that there was no plan to rationalize flights. “We are going to increase frequencies on the routes where we fly less. We have a $65 billion aircraft order in place. We will induct 22 new aircraft this year, which will add to our capacity,” Clark said on the sidelines of the India Tourism Conclave 2009 here on Thursday.

The airline operates to 10 Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram. Clark said India was ahead of the many international markets and if there was an opportunity, the carrier would be keen to invest in sectors such as ground handling. “If there is a change in the policies related to foreign investments, we would be interested to participate,” he said adding that the company would look at the ground-handling opportunity with its sister concern Dnata Ground Handling.

Oman Air chief commercial officer Barry Brown echoed similar views. He said that the airline had come out with special offers for Indian passengers to Oman. “We are offering packages in five-star hotels and resorts for Indian travellers in Oman at a low price. We are also in talks with the Oman authorities for easy visa process,” he added. Like Emirates, Oman Air will also add more planes to its current fleet. “We will have seven more A330s and three more 737s by the end of this year. This will be in addition to our existing strength of twelve 737s and two A330s,” he said. Gulf-based airlines get lot of business from Indians living there and travelling back home.