As a precautionary measure, and in consideration of the ongoing conflict in the area, Oman Air confirmed that it has re-routed its flights to and from the airline’s home base of Muscat to avoid flying over Iraqi territory.
As a result of Oman Air’s avoidance of Iraqi air space, passengers to and from European destinations and Beirut are advised that flight times may be slightly extended and they are advised to check with their local Oman Air offices to see whether their departure times have been affected.
The move comes as a result of Oman Air’s continuous review of its flight paths and follows earlier confirmation that none of its flights have passed through Ukrainian air space since April 2014.
Oman Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gregorowitsch, said, “This measure was taken as part of our ongoing review of flight paths between Muscat and Europe, and follows our decisions in April not to overfly the Ukraine, and a year ago not to overfly Syria.” “Oman Air’s primary concern is, as is for all airlines, the safety and well-being of our customers and staff, and we aim to take a long-term view of the possible need for changes in the way we operate. Geopolitical developments are considered alongside a range of other issues and our forward planning can result in changes some time before they become a statutory requirement,” he added.
Oman Air currently operates flights from Muscat, the capital of Oman, to 43 global destinations, six of which are to European cities: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Milan. In 2013, the airline carried almost five million passengers, a significant proportion of whom were destined for, or spent some time in, Oman.