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Oman wants air links with Brunei
Publication Date : 06-10-2013
Oman is keen to establish air connectivity with Brunei to increase business activities between the two countries, said the outgoing ambassador of Oman to Brunei.
Noting that Brunei has recently expanded and upgraded its airport, Sayyid Fakhri Mohamed Said Al-Said said "it will be very good" for Dubai-bound carriers from Bandar Seri Begawan to have stopovers in Muscat, which is also in the midst of expanding its international airport.
"Now you've expanded your airport and we are also expanding our airport. For business and investment, it will be very good to have at least stop over to Oman on their way to Dubai," he told The Brunei Times at a farewell luncheon hosted for him by foreign missions in Brunei yesterday.
Brunei's flag carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), flies direct to London with stopovers in Dubai but could afford to have short layoffs in Oman, said Sayyid Fakhri Mohamed.
"When it (RB) flies to London, it passes through Dubai. So at least have two or three flights stopping over in Oman. Whenever there is a direct flight, businesses increase," he said.
The outgoing ambassador added: "I think it will be very nice and and we'll try to discuss the matter with people (stakeholders) here and hope it materialises."
He said that Oman was also keen to be involved in Pulau Muara Besar project although there are no concrete plans at the moment.
"There is interest in Pulau Muara Besar, but we have not specified which one. But in the future, we will know," he said.
"Oman has always been interested in investment outside (the country). And they will invest especially in Brunei because we have this joint-investment company. So they always have interest to allocate something that will benefit both countries."
The Oman-Brunei Investment Company is co-funded by the Brunei Investment Agency and has investments in Muscat's telecommunications sector.
In a farewell speech during the luncheon which was held in Gadong, Sayyid Fakhri Mohamed said: "The close relations are evident by the fact that the two countries have achieved satisfying results of cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and energy and made good progress in terms of cooperation between private sectors of both countries."
Brunei and Oman on Thursday renewed a bilateral agreement to facilitate the exchange of information and media personnel between the countries.
The ambassador presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on October 28, 2008.
Brunei International Airport's new arrival hall recently opened to the public with a new and modern look.
Costing US$150 million, the expansion and renovation of Brunei's sole international airport is expected to double its annual passenger capacity from 1.5 million to three million.
A previous report said that the Ministry of Communications in charge of aviation and connectivity is also coming up with new incentives, including those on landing charges, to attract more airlines to enter Brunei.
Officials involved with the project had, in February last year, said that more business opportunities will be available at the airport once the overall upgrade works are completed in November 2014.
Upon completion of the upgrade works, the airport's parking lot will be able to accommodate 1,600 vehicles.
A more efficient baggage handling system and conveyor belt, a new check-in facility and a new arrival corridor and flight transfer area are also some of the new features included in the renovation project.
The new facilities will increase the airport's floor space by an additional 18,000 square metres, with about three to four thousand square metres of the space for tenancy to retailers.