Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways may be the three largest major airlines that most people think of when traveling to or connecting through the Middle East, in particular the Persian Gulf region. The three carriers have announced prominent flight resumptions and brand new routes, especially to Africa, where competition for traffic is fierce across the vast continent.
However, one carrier — Oman Air — has plans to make an appearance in the competitive route market soon. The airline recently announced flight resumptions to the Dar Es Salaam, Tanzanian, and Zanzibar, Tanzania, after the Oman Civil Aviation Authority cleared the path for air services from the sultanate in early September.
The national carrier of Oman will resume scheduled flights from the Omani capital — Muscat —to Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar on Thursdays and Saturdays, starting Oct. 1. Oman Air’s flight resumptions to Africa are part of the airline’s international flight resumptions to 18 cities across 12 countries, while airports across Oman are also beginning partial operations on Oct.1, according to the Times of Oman.
The Omani carrier has limited flight operations to Africa, serving two countries, Tanzania and Egypt. However, the flight resumptions to Tanzania will provide the carrier with the opportunity to operate flights to an increasingly competitive region. As a result, Oman Air will be able to directly challenge Emirates and Qatar Airways, which have also announced flight resumptions to cities in Africa. Emirates and Qatar Airways also serve Dar Es Salaam.
Meanwhile, back in the Gulf Region, Oman Air also restarted flights to an important region in Oman, the Wusta Governate, and one of the region’s major cities, Duqm, which began on Sept. 20. The airline’s plans include increasing domestic flights, especially to the special economic region, which now has six flights per week.
“The resumption of flights are a significant step forward in the nation’s economic development and a reflection of the airline’s commitment to serving the Sultanate. This step supports the development of this increasingly important city,” the carrier said in a statement. “As a Special Economic Zone, Duqm plays a vital role in Oman’s economic growth. Oman Air’s service helps facilitate business growth in the area and attract further investment.”
In the meantime, while Oman Air looks to mainly focus on expanding domestic operations as the country begins to reopen its public transport services and airport operations, the uncertainty still remains whether the airline’s decision to resume international flights, especially to Africa, will be profitable and beneficial for the airline in the months ahead.