Oman Air to Open Muscat-Manila Direct Flights Starting December

MANILA — Direct flights between Oman and the Philippines will open anew as Oman Air is set to have its inaugural flight before the year ends.

At the Omani 44th National Day celebration, Oman Ambassador to the Philippines Monther Mahfoodh Salim Al-Mantheri said that Oman Air would launch its direct flight to Manila on the first week of December.

“[This] came in line with the objectives of the Government of the Sultanate’s to advance and strengthen cooperation in all fields between Oman and the Philippines,” the Omani envoy said.

Meanwhile, Oman Air country manager Ritchie Tuano said this would be the first time for Oman Air to operate a direct flight between Muscat and Manila.

“It’s the first time to operate from December 3. So the flight starts December 2 out of Oman, it arrives and depart its first flight here on December 3,” Tuano said.

“A long time back, there was an airline that operated a once-a-week service between Manila and Muscat,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to serve the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as the Omanis – for us to showcase the country. There are also many tourist attractions in the Philippines and vice versa,” he said.

The Oman Air official here said the company considered the Philippines a big market with the big population of OFWs not only in Oman but in the entire Middle East as well.

“We’re talking about a multimillion population of Filipinos in the entire Middle East,” Tuano said. “Philippines has always been there in the pipeline so now it’s a realization of that plan.”

Oman Air’s wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft will have three flights per week, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday which will service both passengers and cargos. But starting 1 January 2015, days of service will shift to Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Tuano said travel time between Muscat and Manila is at least between 13 and 14 hours similar to travel time between the Philippines and other Middle East countries.

“Anyone flying to Muscat has to go up and fly back again to Muscat; you are actually flying over Muscat before you can get to Muscat,” he said.

“Now we cut the flight to nine hours. Now it saves a lot of time for the passengers. It’s a nonstop flight from Manila to Muscat but we have connecting flights from Muscat to the rest of Middle East and to the Europe as well,” he said.

Tuano also said that Oman Air was also considering flights to other points in the country aside from airports in Manila.

(Source: Kris M. Crismundo, Philippines News Agency)

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