|Aviation Business Magazine (August 2011 Cover)|
Oman Air CEO Peter Hill Interviewed By Robeel Haq (Archive from August 2011)
Following the announcement that Peter Hill will retire from his position as chief executive officer of Oman Air in September, there has been endless speculation about his replacement. The latest media reports have mooted British Midlands International CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as the favoured candidate, and since an official confirmation is imminent, it’s unsurprising that Hill himself is reluctant to discuss the matter. “My lips are sealed,” he laughs. “I know a few people have been shortlisted and an announcement will soon be made to end the speculation. I’m sure the choice will be good for Oman Air and whoever is eventually selected, hopefully they will lead the airline to breakeven in the near future.”
|Cover shoot with Oman Air CEO Peter Hill at Muscat Airport|
Over the past three years, Hill has also continued his mission to further develop Oman as a tourism hub and he’s willing to admit that progress has been frustratingly slow. “We’ve been very successful in transporting passengers through Muscat airport, although there is some way to go in getting people to recognise the benefits and opportunities of visiting Oman, which is a very unique country,” he stresses. “It takes a combined effort by all stakeholders in the country’s ambassadorship to effectively promote Oman. If you look at other countries that have recently succeeded in tourism development, such as India, Malaysia and even Sri Lanka, it’s because the message has been consistent from the tourism board, hoteliers, tour operators and of course the national airline. All of these stakeholders have created one voice, but if there are multiple voices, as we have in Oman, then the message is fragmented and lacks the punch.” With recent changes in the country’s ministry of tourism, plus with a new CEO and board of directors at Oman Air, Hill is hopeful about further progress after he leaves the airline. “They can use the platform that we have built and tell the world about Oman. I’m not talking about mass tourism, because Oman needs more sophisticated, well-travelled tourists to appreciate its beauty,” he adds.
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