Oman Air hopes to join the global Oneworld airline alliance, putting it alongside American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and more.
The carrier has approached its regional neighbour Qatar Airways for assistance in getting aboard – a strategic move, given Qatar’s CEO is also currently Chairman of the Oneworld Governing Board.
“As the industry recovers from COVID, airline alliances are going to be more important than ever,” an Oman Air spokesperson told Reuters.
“This will provide us with excellent global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our guests.”
If successful, Oman Air would be Oneworld’s third member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian.
“At any time, there are ongoing discussions with a range of prospective members but we do not comment on any specific airlines,” a Oneworld spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.
"As airlines recover from COVID-19, alliances will become more important by providing global connectivity as airlines reshape their networks, many with reduced fleets when compared to their pre-COVID size.”
What Oman Air brings to the Oneworld table
Although relatively unknown to Australian travellers, Oman Air counts a fleet of almost 50 aircraft among its stable.
This includes Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s equipped with private suites in first class:
From its hub at Muscat International Airport, the airline normally serves a host of key destinations including London (Heathrow), as well as Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Moscow and Paris in Europe.
Its network also spans across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, encompassing Abu Dhabi, Amman, Bahrain, Bangkok, Beirut, Colombo, Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, Manila, Malé, Manama, Mumbai, Riyadh and Singapore, among many others.
The benefits to Oneworld travellers
Should Oman Air’s efforts to join Oneworld prove successful, members of all Oneworld frequent flyer programs would be able to earn and spend points or miles aboard Oman Air flights.
This would include Qantas Frequent Flyer members being able to spend Qantas Points for travel with Oman Air.
In addition to economy class travel, Oman Air flights in business class and first class would very likely be bookable using points or miles, which the airline already allows frequent flyers to reserve through partner programs such as Etihad Guest.
Add to that, Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members would gain lounge access and fast-track perks like priority check-in and boarding when travelling with Oman Air, benefiting cardholders such as Qantas Gold and Platinum members.
As a member of Oneworld, Oman Air flights could also be included when planning a round-the-world trip with Oneworld: whether using cash, or as part of a multi-city award booking.
Once alliance-wide upgrades are rolled out across the alliance, those too would become available when travelling with Oman Air.