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MUSCAT: Oman Air has reported a 10 percent increase in revenue for 2013 to RO381.7 million (US$991.5 million). However according to airline chairman HE Darwish Bin Ismail Al Balushi, the purchase of new aircraft led to a 16 percent rise in the company's losses last year to RO113.3 million (US$294.3 million).Oman Air at Muscat Airport

"The arrival later in 2014 of the first of the 20 new aircraft we currently have on order will signal the start of a major new phase in Oman Air 's growth and an increase in our capacity to tackle Oman Air 's deficit and move towards profitability," he noted.

To help support this process, Al Balushi said the airline's authorized share capital is to be increased RO200 million to a total of RO700 million.

Oman Air reported a 15 percent year-on-year rise in cargo traffic for 2013 compared to the previous year and said it had benefited from an exclusive block space agreement with DHL between Muscat and Dubai.

Al Balushi also announced the airline would spin off its ground and cargo handling services into separate businesses within the group.

Currently, Oman Air has codeshare partnerships with Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Sri Lankan Airlines and Turkish Airlines. The airline fleet includes seven A330-200/300s and 17 B737-700s/800s. Three more A330s are due for delivery from December this year while six B787s will begin deliveries in 2015. The airline says it will be the first Gulf carrier to operate the B737-900ER of which it has ordered six.

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