From August 1st until October 29th, Oman Air is increasing the number of frequencies from the Sultanate to India. The decision stems from growing demand and the need to meet customers’ needs during the summer holidays.
The changes in the schedule
From next month, Oman Air, the Sultanate of Oman’s national carrier, will increase the number of weekly flights bound for its eight Indian destinations to 122.
Therefore, the total number of additional flights in the schedule amounts to 18; therefore, in the three months from August to October, the airline will offer:
- 10 weekly flights to Delhi, Kochi, and Chennai
- 7 flights per week to Bangalore, Mumbai, Kozhikode, and Hyderabad
- 3 flights to Goa
Oman Air’s increased capacity to India translates into 122 weekly flights to the country. Photo: Oman Air
Hamad bin Mohamed Al Harthy, Oman Air Regional Vice President Sales –Indian Subcontinent & Asia-Pacific, commented on the change in the Indian schedule as a natural reaction to the increasing demand and the busy summer holidays ahead:
We are pleased to announce additional frequencies to Kochi, Delhi, and Chennai effective next month as part of our comprehensive plans to better serve our international markets and meet our guests’ travel expectations during the holiday season.
To maximize capacity on the busy Indian routes, the airline will deploy not only its narrowbody fleet of Boeing B737s but the Boeing B787s and Airbus A330s as well.
The Oman-Indian air market
According to the Global Distribution System (GDS) Saber, in the first two quarters (Q1 & Q2) of 2019, 951,456 people traveled between Oman and India, with Oman Air’s market share being the highest (27.94%), closely followed by Air India Express ( 25.48%). In the same months of 2022, the total traffic between the two countries decreased by 20%, for a total of 760,860 passengers.
Although Oman Air is the leading carrier between Oman and India, the airline faces fierce competition from Indian and Gulf carriers when it comes to traffic from the Gulf region. Indeed, in Q1 & Q2 2022, the first airline between the Gulf and India was the Indian low -cost carrier IndiGo, with a market share of 20.82%, followed by Air India Express (16.66%), and Air India (11.39%). As for the Gulf carriers, Emirates ranks 5th, with a market share of 7.9%, followed by Saudi Arabian Airlines (5.85%). Oman Air is the 11th carrier per passenger traffic, with a market share of 2.1%.
The Oman-India market represents a huge opportunity for Oman Air, given the large community of Indian expats in the Sultanate. Photo: Oman Air
According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), between August and October 2022, Oman Air will deploy the highest capacity from Oman to India, with Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) amounting to 628 million. frequencies and 286,858 seats. The second carrier in the market will be Air India Express, which will offer 41% less capacity than Oman Air in terms of ASKs. Considering the whole Middle East, between August and October 2022, IndiGo will deploy the most capacity , offering 9,894 frequencies and 85% more seats than Oman Air to India.
The relevance of efficiently connecting India to the Sultanate of Oman also stems from the fact that the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in Oman. Therefore, demand between the two countries is expected to remain high throughout the whole year, but especially during the holiday seasons, when ex-pats tend to fly home. Indeed, in 2019, traffic peaks can be spotted around the winter and summer months, as the graph below illustrates.
The largest community of expats in Oman are Indians, who tend to fly back home during the winter and summer months. Graph: Simple Flying I Data: Sabre
Furthermore, in 2019, 98% of the passengers flying between Oman and India bought their tickets in the Middle East and Asia.
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A cool stopover in Muscat
For those travelers who need to connect at Muscat International Airport (MCT), Oman Air now offers the so-called “Stopover-Packages”, which allow Oman Air passengers to visit some of the most renowned touristic attractions in and around Muscat. offers the possibility to get a taste of Oman and of the Sultanate’s history, culture, and distinguished hospitality.
Oman Air now offers special stopover packages to boost the Sultanate’s tourism. Photo: Oman Air
These packages are managed by one of the carriers’ branches, Oman Air Holidays. However, the airline is not the first one to apply this strategy to attract customers and, at the same time, boost the country’s tourism. A good example from the Gulf region comes from Emirates, which provides its customers with the chance to choose from a portfolio of different attractions, tours, and experiences in Dubai before flying to their final destinations.
Simple Flying reached out to Oman Air for further comment. We will update the article with any additional announcements from the airline.
What do you think of Oman Air’s focus on the Indian market? Let us know in the comments below!