A global conference of Oman Air staff has given ambitious proposals for growth and prosperity a warm welcome.
The proposals were set out by Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch, and provided a centrepiece for the event, whose theme was ‘To become the Best’. They included the continuation of Oman Air’s ambitious expansion strategy, together with the launch of a stringent efficiency programme, entitled ‘Shape and Size’. This will see the airline make cost savings of RO 100 million over the next three years, resulting in Oman Air achieving profitability by the end of 2017.
The conference was held in the auditorium of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation, in Muscat, on 15th January. It saw staff from around the world converge on the Omani capital to hear presentations from a range of dignitaries and senior managers.
The event was opened by His Excellency Darwish bin Ismael Al Balushi, the Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Air. He provided a brief overview of Oman Air’s history, before turning his attention to the immediate future, saying:
“The 10 year strategy of Oman Air has been prepared, and has been thoroughly evaluated and assessed. It focuses mainly on fleet and network expansion, and on boosting revenues so as to reach breakeven and hence attain profitability. At the same time, we will continue to provide the very best, highly distinguished services and ensure that our valued customers remain our top priority.”
Following the Chairman’s opening remarks, Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch gave the keynote presentation. In it, he restated the need to achieve profitability through a combination of strategic growth and increased efficiency. Explaining that profitability has always been an aim for Oman Air, he added that the time has now come for Oman Air to stop relying on the Government of Oman’s financial backing.
“With the start of 2015, we have set new financial targets for Oman Air. Whilst these are more challenging than in previous years, our vision, objectives and values remain the same.
“Our Vision – and the theme of this conference - is “To Become the Best”.
“Our Objectives are to be a safe airline, to be the airline of First Choice, to make money by increasing revenues and reducing costs, to cater for growth as set out in our 10 year plan, and to contribute to the development of the Sultanate.
“And our values are trust and respect, transparency and integrity, taking responsibility, team work, and fun.
“Our vision, objectives and values underpin every aspect of our work and will enable everyone in the company to work together to achieve a viable, profitable and sustainable future for Oman Air.
“That future means becoming a more modern, business-driven enterprise - one that does not rely on financial injections from the Government of Oman. Whilst Oman Air currently contributes more than RO 400 million to the Omani economy, it is vital that we all work hard to become an even better, service oriented, but self-supporting airline. We are, after all, in business to be customer and profit-driven.”
Mr Gregorowitsch’s comments were echoed in subsequent presentations given by Oman Air’s Chief Officers, including Chief Operating Officer Abdulrahaman Al-Busaidy and Chief Financial Officer Japeen Shah. They emphasized the need for all staff to be committed to the ‘Shape and Size’ initiative and Mr Shah underlined the need to substantially reduce the airline’s loss from its 2014 level of RO 110 million.
However, the need for financial stringency, it was explained, runs in parallel with the airline’s expansion of its fleet and global network. His Excellency the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer both explained that growth was not only the key to building Oman Air’s revenues, but also the key to meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations, and to retaining their business. As a result, Oman Air will continue to add new aircraft to its fleet, open up more routes and increase frequencies on established services.
Addressing Oman Air’s staff, Paul Gregorowitsch concluded:
“As His Excellency the Chairman said at the start of the day, only you, through your persistence, loyalty and dedication, can grasp this opportunity for development and improvement.
“We, as the managers of Oman Air, know that united we can win, and can contribute to the renaissance of a highly rewarded and efficient national airline - the new pride of the Sultanate: Oman Air.”