Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, plans to mount daily flights between Muscat and the Malaysian capital by next year.
"At present, we fly four times a week from Muscat to Malaysia and I bet we will have daily flights here by next year," Chief Commercial Officer Barry Brown told reporters Thursday.
He said the airline also planned to have a code-sharing arrangement with Malaysia Airlines and hoped to introduce it on June 1.
Oman Air District Sales Manager Kathleen Leong said: "Oman and Malaysia recognise there are mutual benefits to have direct flights and the up-tick in the economies of both countries makes this a strategically smart move.
"Malaysians performing Haj or Umrah can make a stop at Muscat while Omanis can enjoy the shopping and leisure experiences offered here."
Oman Air Chief Executive Officer Peter Hill said hotels and restaurants in Oman recorded a high annual growth rate in the third quarter of 2009 compared to first and second quarter which indicates a positive growth for tourism sector in 2010.
Also, there were 1.4 million passengers from the Middle East in 2009, an increase of 5.8 per cent from 2008, he said.
The number of tourists visiting Malaysia from Oman this year is expected to reach 21,000, a 100 per cent increase from last year with the availability of direct flights from Oman to Malaysia.
Hill also noted that in 2008, Malaysia's imports from the sultanate amounted to US$866 million, an increase of 78 per cent compared to 2007.
Oman Air is the first airline in the world to offer both Wi-Fi and mobile telephony to all classes of passengers, in addition to live television.
The airline operates direct flights from Muscat to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, United Kingdom and Germany.
Source : Bernama
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