HERALD: Oman Air is nearing completion of two years in Goa. How has this journey been for you so far?
SANGEETA SHETYE: The Journey so far has been outstanding as India is a key destination for Oman Air and we are delighted to be offering thousands of travellers the opportunity to travel between Goa and Muscat and beyond. We started a direct flight from Goa to Muscat, operating four flights a week, on March 29, 2015 and, with the success and the market demand, the flight frequency was made daily within just six months of operation.The competition has been quite challenging due to the already existing airlines operating out of Goa. However, we are proud to announce that we have been successful in attaining our desired position in the market within a short time frame. The launch of this route has been a key part of our ambitious and dynamic program of fleet and network expansion and our ongoing aim to becoming a successful, sustainable company of the highest quality: “To Become the Best.”
HERALD: How has Oman Air helped Goa Tourism?
SS: Oman Air has connected Goa globally, which is a huge achievement for the tourism industry. The daily direct flights between Goa and Muscat, with excellent onward connections to major destinations including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, Kuwait, Cairo and Dar Es Salaam, have opened Goa to an extended network of travellers. Since the launch of the flight, Goa has seen a substantial growth in number of tourists visiting Goa year round.Furthermore, Oman Air’s dedication to India’s tourism industry as a whole is highlighted by the revised flight agreement between the Government of Oman and India, finalized in December 2016, which increased the number of weekly seats between Oman and India.
HERALD: How is Goa as a market for you?
SS: We first launched flights to India in the 1990s and the demand for seats has grown exceptionally amongst both business and leisure passengers, not only increasing tourism traffic and revenue but also promoting vital trade agreements between the two countries. The demand for all 11 of our Indian destinations has always been high and we are continuing to increase frequencies. Tourism is the mainstay of the Goan economy. The state has emerged as a key destination in the global arena for tourism and Oman Air has received tremendous support from each and every travel partner from the day of inception of its product in Goa.
HERALD: What infrastructure have you added in Goa to expand your business here?
SS: In the current virtual scenario, Oman Air still believes in offering personal touch to the services offered to our guest and has a full -fledged ticketing and sales office located in the heart of Panjim city of Goa. Here we cater to our guest with first hand service of tickets purchase and extending assistance to all our guests for tickets purchased overseas. Here we also offer exciting holidays packages to “Sultanate Of Oman” and special offers to our “ Sindbad Members” along with sales support to the trade partners and corporate guests.
HERALD: How is Oman Air doing globally? Is airline sector in India doing well?
SS: Oman Air is doing well and is going ahead with continued fleet and network expansion together with a renewed focus on on-board services and developments, which will be a priority for Oman Air in 2017; Oman Air will continue to drive up revenues, increases its growing contribution to the national economy and deliver against its ten year development plan. With the invaluable support of Oman Air’s Board of Directors, we have a clear vision, achievable objectives and a set of values to which all our employees are committed. Despite substantial economic challenges, Oman Air is therefore in a strong position to continue its progress towards becoming successful.
HERALD: What are your future plans for Goa and India?
SS: The very fact that Oman Air flies to 11 destinations in India indicates that it is a strong and valuable market for Oman Air. There are plans that we will unveil at the right time for our various existing Indian destinations. We value our guests and the potential guests and request you to continue your support to Oman Air.[H]