By Neil Halligan
Oman upgrading Muscat, plans to open new airports in Salalah, Duqm
Oman has announced plans to invite bids from low-cost carriers to establish a base in the country.
Speaking to Oman Tribune, Dr Mohammed Bin Nasser Al Zaabi, CEO of Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), said the Sultanate will invite bidders to submit tenders by April this year.
“The bid documents are ready and we are seeking final views on it,” he told the newspaper.
He said the bidders can come from private parties or a combination of public and private entities, with the best qualified bidder awarded a licence for low cost carrier operations.
Al Zaabi said PACA will outline its air transport policy and economic regulation later this year.
Oman is currently expanding and upgrading its aviation infrastructure. Work on Muscat International Airport’s new northern runway is complete and is now operational, while work to upgrade the old southern runway to the latest standards - 4km long and 75m wide - will begin in March and last for a year.
The airport’s ‘Early Warning Centre’ at the new Air Traffic Control tower will become operational on March 23.
The new airport in Salalah is expected to open by June, while construction work for Duqm airport terminal and infrastructure will start very soon, Al Zaabi said.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
The newly to be set up low cost carrier in Oman, should concentrate on internal and regional destinations.
While Oman Air should take advantage of it's bilateral agreements with the USA and Canada, thus initiating operations to New York and Toronto, with B777 aircraft, for starters thrice weekly to each station.
There is a huge Middle Eastern and South Asian community in Toronto. The South Asians will transit Muscat to South Asia time Oman Air should look at operations into the Americas.