Oman Air will join the global Oneworld airline alliance by 2024, putting it alongside American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Qatar Airways and more.
The Muscat-based carrier will work with its regional neighbour Qatar Airways, who will act as sponsor for Oman Air’s entry into Oneworld, providing guidance and support as the airline integrates into the alliance. It’s a strategic move, given Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker is also currently Chairman of the Oneworld Board.
Al Baker had been in negotiations with the airline for some time, revealing to Executive Traveller that he felt it it his duty to grow the alliance for members.
Despite the close proximity of Oman and Jordan to Qatar – the nations flank either end of the Arabian Peninsula – Al Baker says “even if (airlines) are in the same area, there is so much opportunity.”
“For example, we work very closely with Royal Jordanian, we code-share with them, we have grown our business tremendously, and we see that there is still room to include others.”
A defining moment for Oman Air
“Oman Air’s admittance into Oneworld represents a defining moment in our journey to provide passengers with greater travel options through our developing partnerships and alliances. We’re delighted to be joining the world's foremost airline alliance at a time when demand for travel is on the rise”, said Oman Air CEO Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi.
“We look forward to welcoming Oneworld members onboard Oman Air to experience the height of Omani hospitality and all that the Sultanate of Oman has to offer in terms of history, culture and natural beauty.”
Oman Air will be Oneworld’s third member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian. The alliance also welcomed Royal Air Moroc and Alaska Airlines to the fold in recent years.
“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,” the airline has previously said.
What Oman Air brings to the Oneworld table
Although relatively unknown to Australian travellers, Oman Air counts a fleet of more than 40 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, Oman Air flies to five Oneworld member airline hubs – Amman, Colombo, Doha, Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow – and already codeshares with four oneworld member airlines: Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines.
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
Once Oman Air joins Oneworld in 2024, 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.