Oman Aviation Group is seeking to raise up to $6 billion to finance the expansion of state-owned Oman Air and Oman Airports up until 2030, its chief executive reported.
Request for proposals have been issued to local and international banks and the first tranche is expected to be raised by mid-2020 with planned financing spread over several branches.
Government entity Oman Aviation Group was formed in February 2018 and includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services.
Oman Airports operates and manages four airports in the country, including Muscat International which is the base of Oman Air with 18 million passengers in 2018 and forecasts handling a total of 40 million a year by 2030 and has 20 Boeing 737 MAX in possession and four 787-8 aircraft on order, according to Boeing’s website, which will require financing.
Oman Air is currently not ready for privatization until its restructuring is completed and there are no plans to privatize Oman Airports, said a senior official.
Oman, which is less wealthy than its oil-rich Gulf neighbors, is relying increasingly on borrowing to offset a widening budget deficit caused by a slump in oil prices.
The government of Oman expects to raise a total of around $6.2 billion in domestic and foreign debt this year, according to its 2019 state budget.