Oman Air says losses surged 41% last year

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Photo - Dabang Murmur

Oman Air on Sunday announced it suffered from a loss of 110 million riyals ($285.71m) in 2011 due to spiralling fuel costs.

The Omani national flag carrier said in an email statement that revenue for the year increased by 35% to 311.3 million riyals ($808.57m) as the airline flew 3.8 million passengers last year, up 16% over 2010. It also added that the increase comes at a time when airlines around the world are suffering from the global recession and eurozone economic crisis.

“It is important to note that the results for the year were impacted by 38 per cent increase in fuel price which alone increased the expenditure by 37 million riyals,” the airline stated, adding that the seat factor peaked at 73 in 2011.

“2011 was a year of both change and consolidation for Oman Air. We have continued our programme of rapid expansion, introduced new aircraft and further enhanced the quality of our products and services,” Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi, chairman of Oman Air’s board of directors, said in the statement.

“We have also invested in training, agreed a number of partnerships and joint ventures and taken a series of measures to improve efficiency. Each of these steps has been taken with two key aims in mind: to ensure the best possible passenger experience for our customers and to improve profitability in the long run,” he added.

The statement also added that the flag carrier’s manpower costs rose 10% to 87.3m Omani riyal (US$226.7m). “The company carried out a company-wide compensation study and increased staff salaries to bring the same in line with the industry and offset increase in cost of living,” the airline statement said.

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