will not be severely affected by the cancellation of visa-change
flights as this facility is only one of its main businesses,
according to an airline official.
Khaleej Times yesterday, Mohammed Noufal, sales and marketing
manager of Kish Airlines, said: "Visa-change flights facility is
just one of our main businesses. We offer holiday packages and
also cater to business travellers to Kish island. Visa change has
been synonymous to Kish Airline for the last four to five years,
but we also operate other flights to certain destinations and
promote tourism in the mainland such as Isfahan. We have daily
flights to Bahrain, four weekly flights to Muscat, and flights
from Teheran to Copenhagen."
He added that
the airline even had plans of increasing its flights to Muscat
from four to seven by the first week of March. "However, it
remains to be seen whether we will push through with our plans
after the accident," he admitted.
stressed that the recent plane crash involving its Fokker-50 plane
was an accident, and that it was not due to the age of the
aircraft or the lack of maintenance to the aircraft. He said that
Kish Airline's current fleet of eight aircraft has a maximum age
of 10 years.
investigation has not been completed, and a negative perception of
the airline has been portrayed. We hope that the media would give
us the benefit of the doubt. We would like to emphasise that we
will support the families of the passengers," he said.
Country Manager, UAE of Oman Air, said: "We appreciate the
decision taken by the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan, to cancel the visa flights. Oman Air has a high
frequency as it operates six to seven flights daily. This allows
much flexibility for visa change passengers who would like to come
back to Dubai on the next available flight to Dubai. Visa change
is not a main segmentation for us and it does not constitute a
high yield. We cater to business and leisure travellers, transit
passengers and normal passengers. We can now allocate the seats
taken by the visa change passengers to other passengers who
connect from Oman to other destinations."
Qatar Airways' District Sales Manager, Dubai and Northern
Emirates, said: "Visa change flights have
been operated by
low-cost airlines, while Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Gulf Air and
Emirates have some visa change passengers. Our visa change traffic
has significantly been reduced and the new law will have minimal
effects on Qatar Airways. In fact, we only have three to four visa
change passengers a day. Our airline is a scheduled, commercial
airline, and we operate flights to Doha and beyond to our network
of 48 destinations."
asked to comment on the effect of the cancellation of visa change
flights on the airline, a Queshm Air official told Khaleej Times:
"We are still in shock. We have been deluged with calls from
relatives of the dead passengers of the Kish Airline flight. We
chartered that flight."