Air Transport World

Oman air: finally fulfills national carrier ambitions.(PROFILE)(Company overview)

Once litle more than a ground handling company at the country's gateway airport, Oman Air's fortunes are changing dramatically as, for the first time in its history, the feisty domestic and regional airline assumes national carrier status. With that new status comes access to international routes that were beyond its reach as long as Gulf Air was officially the national airline for Oman. Earlier this year, however, the Omani government decided to withdraw from the troubled multistate entity to concentrate its energies and finances on building up the local airline.

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The move followed the approval in March by Oman Air shareholders of a proposal to increase the company's share capital from OMR13.3 million to OMR50 million ($129.9 million) by private placement of shares with the government of the Sultanate of Oman. This boosted the government's stake from 34% to 82%, with the private sector partners, who previously held a majority 66%, retaining the remaining 18%.

In May, the government announced it would fully nationalize Oman Air and appoint a new board. The legal status of parent firm Oman Aviation Services was duly changed from a General Omani Joint Stock Company to a Limited Omani Joint Stock Company and it was delisted from the Muscat Securities Market, although the remaining public shares still can be traded by mutual consent of the shareholders. …

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