Oman Air chief executive Wayne Pearce is hoping to further raise load factors at the carrier as it puts the focus on developing its higher-yielding O&D traffic.
"Our seat factors are getting up to very appreciable levels despite the increase in capacity [over recent years]," explained Pearce, speaking during the recent Airline Business-organised World Air Forum in Amsterdam. The carrier has expanded, notably in the long-haul market where it has now taken delivery of seven Airbus A330s.
"We have been able to drive the revenue in the last year, even though we have only added two Embraer [175s], and we've been able to get our seat factors up, particularly in economy, to very respectable levels," adds Pearce
The carrier will strengthen its ability in this area by investing in a new revenue management system. "We are trying to get to the point where you can drive seat factor as high as you can," he says. "The higher it is overall, the more you can start to get very clever in the area [of revenue management]," he says, noting that if you can increase yield by three to four percentage points it can be the difference between an airline breaking even and posting a healthy profit.
"I see revenue management and the strategies that sit behind it as really critical to our future. And those strategies will take into account things like network revenue rather than pure yield per sector, so our prime focus is O&D," he adds.
Much of the opportunity for Oman Air to develop its O&D traffic is connected to the country's tourism development. "We work very closely with the ministry of tourism to do it. So a prime profit driver for us it to grow that [O&D traffic]," says Pearce.
As part of its growth plan, Oman Air will increase its fleet to 28 aircraft by the end of the year.