Muscat: Today, the Ministry of Transport announced the National Aviation Strategy 2030, aimed at strengthening Oman’s economy through improving the aviation industry in the Sultanate, which will significantly and directly contribute to the gross domestic product. Launching the Strategy is the result of the continuous support for and attention towards the aviation sector that the previous era witnessed; initiatives led by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur – may his soul rest in peace – and continued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.
The launch, which was held in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, and several dignitaries and officials of the public and private sector in the country, revealed the pillars of the National Aviation Strategy that is set to achieve the ambitious goals by 2030. This includes developing an effective organisational framework that contributes to supporting and developing the aviation sector, strengthening the Omani economy, creating job opportunities, building manpower and strengthening companies’ capabilities and expertise. The Strategy also focuses on the coordination and integration between the components of the aviation sector by harmonising operations and avoiding risks. The Strategy also places importance on restructuring Oman Air by adopting a comprehensive programme designed to address gaps and support growth through changing the Omani aviation business model, updating its network of destinations, developing its products, enhancing its sales and marketing capabilities, upgrading the level of integration with the travel and tourism sector in the Sultanate, and focusing on incoming tourists in the Sultanate in order to link Europe, Asia and the Middle East via Oman’s national carrier. This will enable Oman Air to become truly a premium destination airline, for a premium destination.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, said that the Strategy will enable the aviation sector in the Sultanate to compete on a global level by an integrated organisation that aims to secure a bigger share in the international aviation market. He also added that the aviation, logistics and travel sectors play an important role in achieving Oman Vision 2040’s main goals.
The National Aviation Strategy 2030 also focuses on enhancing and improving airports’ efficiency in line with the expected growth in the number of passengers. This takes into account the current and future operation size and will be aligned with the introduction of airport cities in order to increase the economic return. Furthermore, the Strategy targets the logistics sector through a comprehensive air freight strategy that is intended to maintain air freight market share and support national industries in global markets. In addition, a logistics services regional centre will be established for international companies, which will increase freight traffic through the Sultanate’s airports through a number of initiatives including marketing the sector, allocating free zones to airport cities, achieving customs efficiency, and growing the availability of marine-air links.
The new Aviation Strategy did not overlook the tourism sector - it will connect the aviation and tourism sectors by taking advantage of the unique tourism potential that various Sultanate’s governorates enjoy. This will be done by addressing the decline in revenues of the sector and increasing the number of tourists coming into the Sultanate, which will strongly benefit economic return in all aspects. The Strategy will benefit from digital innovation and technology, which plays an important role in the success and improvement of aviation services with regards to logistics, marketing and communications, among others. The next stage will require training and qualification of a sufficient number of skilled teams to meet the needs of the sector – a focus for the National Aviation Strategy.
Ambitious projects in line with the National Aviation Strategy 2030
Launching the National Travel Operator in Oman
In order to stimulate the comprehensive development of the travel, tourism and transportation industries in the Sultanate, Oman Aviation Group, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, is launching the "National Travel Operator" online platform in line with the National Tourism Strategy 2040 and the tourism distribution strategy for the aviation sector.
The tourism distribution strategy for the aviation sector and the National Travel Operator are considered to be innovations that link the Sultanate with the rest of the world through a digital platform that effectively connects Omani travel providers with customers in target markets, and enhances Oman’s tourism image in these markets. This phase will focus on the impact of targeted sales to the Sultanate by harmonising the incentives of commercial partners. The National Travel Operator will also work to raise the quality of tourism spending in the Sultanate. The platform and its goals will be enabled through digital solutions and advanced technology within the tourism system of the Sultanate.
In its first stage the National Travel Operator will cover companies operating in the travel sector in the Sultanate such as public transport providers, hotels and airlines with global commercial markets, most notably in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and India alongside the Gulf countries and others. This important step sets ambitious goals in increasing the number of tourists coming to the Sultanate, achieving financial sustainability, enabling investments in the travel and tourism sector and supporting local tourism to provide an integrated Omani travel experience.
A Master Plan to Launch Muscat Airport City
As part of the National Aviation Strategy 2030, the Oman Aviation Group is adopting a master plan to launch Muscat Airport City. The plan aims to achieve the highest levels of utilisation of the new airport’s high capacity and the increasing air traffic. It also takes advantage of the land areas surrounding the airport to create a stimulating environment for the establishment of aviation-related projects.
Muscat Airport City consists of five main areas:
- Muscat Airport Free Zone, which occupies an area of 3.3 million square metres devoted to light industries and storage activities for air freight, e-commerce, manufacturing and packaging of national products, in addition to aviation equipment, office spaces, an integrated service delivery station and public facilities which are available to serve the users of the airport.
- A 200,000 square metre logistics portal, an area designated for air freight services and logistics, which includes the air freight building at Muscat Airport.
- A business portal, which is a mixed-use project in an area of more than 1.1 million square metres and contains spaces designated for the office units of airlines and related economic sectors.
- An aviation portal in the city of Muscat Airport, which includes the passengers’ terminal area and the location of the previous air freight buildings in an area of 166,000 square metres. This portal will host aviation, cultural and social activities, innovation centres for the aviation sector and a specialised emergency hospital serving the sector in accordance with global aviation safety regulations, and supporting social services. The project is being developed in cooperation with the national economic sectors that contributed to the building of the aviation sector ecosystem during the previous era, and through new investments. It will be assigned to the private sector and SMEs.
- The hospitality portal, which occupies an area of 192,000 square metres, includes hospitality, duty-free shops, offices for travel companies and hotels for travellers or short-term visitors.
© Press Release 2020