By Shane McGinley
State-backed carrier will double some staff salaries and agree new working conditions
State-backed Oman Air has agreed to double some staff
salaries under a new pay deal agreed in the wake of industrial action called by
employees last month.
Around 200 employees of the national carrier went on strike
in March demanding higher salaries and better working conditions. The move
followed a string of civil demonstrations in the sultanate against wage levels
“The airline is committed to improving salaries for all
staff on job grades 4-9, and for cabin crew, by awarding a double pay
increment,” a spokesperson for Oman Air said in a statement.
“Any staff on job grades 1-3 who did not receive a minimum
double pay increment in the course of October 2010’s salary adjustment will be
The airline, which is fully owned by the government, will backdate
pay increases to March 1, 2011, to increase meal allowances and introduce an
annual cost-of-living pay increase, the statement said.
Health cover for all grades, including cover for family of
staff, will also be reviewed along with overtime rates, the airline said.
The measures are likely to be an added strain on the
finances of the state-backed carrier, which last week posted a full-year net
loss of OR78m ($203m).
Oman Air saw a 40 percent increase in revenues, however, and
a 38 percent increase in passengers in 2010, bringing the total carried to
Unrest in the normally tranquil oil-producing state, ruled
by Sultan Qaboos for four decades, included protests in the capital Muscat and
in the port of Sohar, which is an industrial hub.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said sacked twelve ministers last month in
a response to calls to end corruption but no charges have yet been brought.
The ruler has made a number of concessions in a bid to quell
protests, including unemployment benefit of OR150 ($390) a month, a pay rise
for civil servants and higher pensions for the government sector. He also
doubled social security's allowances for elderly people and orphans.
Oman Air offers flights to Asian destinations such as
Bangkok and Bangladesh's Chittagong, as well as European cities including
Frankfurt and Paris.