Oman's Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced the formal establishment of an all-encompassing holding firm to house the country's transport assets.

In a statement issued on February 8, the MOTC said the Oman Aviation Group (OMAG) would house Oman Air (WY, Muscat), the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC), the Omani Aviation Services Company as well as the Omani Shipping & Meteorology Company among others.

The OMAG will seek to maximize the benefits the aviation industry can provide by ensuring close cooperation with the tourism and logistics sectors. To that end, Oman Air is being restructured through a strategic transformation program to meet the future needs of the Omani tourism and logistics sectors.

Oman Air's acting CEO Abdulaziz Al-Raisi said in a statement earlier this month that, as part of the restructuring plan, the carrier is undergoing fleet renewal which culminated in the delivery last month of its first of six B737 MAX 8s due this year. This will be followed by its three more B787-9s during the second half of the year, he said.

The aircraft's improved efficiencies and range will allow Oman Air to further develop its Muscat connecting hub strategy over the coming twelve months with the introduction of new routes to North Africa, the Far East, and Europe as well as the development of its Indian network.

Aside from the launch of flights to Casablanca Int'l in June, Istanbul Atatürk in July, and Moscow in October, Oman Air is also looking at serving Ahmedabad, Kolkata Int'l, and Mangalore in India, Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Shanghai Pudong and Beijing Capital in China. It is also looking to bump capacity on its existing Milan Malpensa, Paris CDG, and Guangzhou routes while at the same time, looking into resuming discontinued services to Singapore Changi, Malé, and Beirut.

“As Oman Air embraces a new business model, the destination model, following the latest restructuring process by the Oman Aviation Group, the airline will undergo a re-positioning programme as a point-to-point national carrier," Minister of Transport and Communications and Chairman of Oman Air, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, told the Times of Oman. "The new model emulates the best practices by countries that have a similar position to that of Oman, such as Iceland. Since adopting the destination business model, Icelandair (FI, Reykjavik Keflavik) has seen a five-fold increase in the number of tourists since 2010 and delivered profitable growth."

Oman Air, which is aiming to carry 39 million passengers by 2030, currently operates four A330-200s, six A330-300s, one B737 MAX 8, twenty-one B737-800s, five B737-900(ER)s, four B787-8s, three B787-9s, and four EMB-170s.