Oman


‘Initiatives can help Oman become an aviation hub’



Doha/Muscat: Oman Air's new initiatives can help utilise Oman's potential to become an aviation hub in the region, said an official at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Speaking to reporters in Doha on Tuesday, Hussein Dabbas, regional vice-president for Africa and Middle East, said that Oman Air's plan to launch a low-cost airline will attract more passengers to the country.

"At one point in time, people were not convinced that the low-cost carriers (LCCs) will succeed in this part of the world, and I have to say that all have been proven wrong. We have LCCs that are very successful, like Air Arabia, flydubai and those coming up now in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and so on. It has created a new market," he added.

"Looking at the history, I do not see any reason why it will not be successful (in Oman)."

Stopover
He also said that the stopover services of the national airline of Oman are the result of a "wise" idea.

'Oman has so much to offer for tourists'
Transit stops are a teaser for tourists and when they see part of the country even for a day, they may decide to come back again and explore the rest of the country, the official said.

"The Sultanate of Oman has so many treasures to offer in terms of tourist attractions," he added.

To see pictures of Oman, click http://www.timesofoman.com/PhotoGallery

Easy to access
"Tourists would love to visit countries that are easy to access. People try to avoid countries that put restrictions on visas and make it difficult for people to obtain visas."

The less restrictions are imposed on passengers, the more the passenger traffic will be, Dabbas noted.

Regional hub
The International Air Transport Association official also said, "Muscat can become another hub in the region, and we are seeing this happening." There is a lot of traffic coming through this region, he added.

Room for growth
"There is room for growth. There is room for improvement. And I believe the airports that are being built (in the Sultanate of Oman) will be very well utilised in the coming years," Dabbas added.

To get in touch with the reporter: elham@timesofoman.com

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