Oman Air Plans Daily Flights to Manila

After successfully launching service to Manila at the end of 2014, Oman Air has announced that it will be increasing its flights between Muscat and Manila from three to seven flights per week after a new agreement was signed with the Civil Aeronautics Board.

oman air philippines
Image Source: Times of Oman
According to the Civil Aeronautics Board, the new agreement becomes effective immediately on a provisional basis. "Oman Air will be increasing the number of flights to seven flights a week," said a Senior Official from the Civil Aeronautics Board. "The designated airlines of Oman and the Philippines shall be permitted to exercise full third and fourth freedom traffic rights on passenger or combination passenger and cargo services with not more than seven weekly frequencies between Manila and Muscat, using any type of aircraft except the A380."

Since launching service to Manila, Oman Air has concentrated primarily on the local Manila to Oman market with onward connections to Europe. However, the new memorandum of understanding permits Oman Air to exercise fifth freedom rights, which would permit the carrier to pick up and drop off passengers at one point in Thailand, Malaysia, or Indonesia.

The increase in flights will benefit overseas Filipino workers, who will now benefit from increased options for travel between the Middle East and the Philippines. Oman Air Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gregorowitsch, continues to be impressed by the Manila route's load factor, remaining confident that flights will continue to be added between the two cities.

According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, 38 percent of traffic on Oman Air's Manila to Muscat  route connect beyond Oman to other destinations in the Middle East and Europe. Paris is one of the most popular destinations, having seen a surge in passenger volume. 42 percent of passengers on the route are overseas Filipino workers, while an additional 20 percent are business travellers.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aeronautics Board reaffirmed that no Philippine carriers are currently planning to launch flights between the two countries. Last year, a report revealed that Cebu Pacific was considering launching service to Muscat as part of its long-haul low-cost network. Most recently, media reports have circulated that Philippine Airlines was also planning a new route to Muscat.

Oman Air recently entered into a new codeshare agreement with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, enabling passengers connecting beyond Muscat to reserve flights operated by KLM to Amsterdam.

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