Oman Air is hinting that the Omani government might yet opt to raise its shareholding in the carrier as the airline awaits confirmation of its future strategy following the sultanate's decision to withdraw from Gulf Air, writes David Kaminski-Morrow.

Bahrain and Oman had been equal partners in Gulf Air, but Oman's government gave formal notification last week that it intended to pull out of the airline. Oman's government has been planning to concentrate on developing Oman Air and has moved to take a majority share in the airline of more than 80%.

However, the carrier says there are suggestions that the government could take its shareholding beyond this figure, even to the point of wholly owning the airline.

Clarification of the government's ownership strategy for Oman Air following the Gulf Air pull-out is expected at a special meeting on 29 May when the corporate structure of Oman Air will be formally amended. "There will be one national carrier for Oman," he says.

Gulf Air has yet to disclose how the Omani decision affects its restructuring programme.

Source: Flight International