It seems there are shifts in the sands of the frequent flyer and alliances, with Oman Air planning to join the oneworld alliance.
The move was announced at the IATA General meeting in Doha.
Oman Air (based out of Muscat), has been elected as a member designate in Doha by the oneworld Governing Board, comprising the Chief Executives of all oneworld member airlines. oneworld member Qatar Airways will act as the sponsor for Oman Air’s entry into the alliance, providing guidance and support.
The airline is expected to fully join the alliance in 2024, where it will offer the full set of oneworld benefits to passengers travelling on its flights, including access to its lounges. Members of Oman Air’s Sindbad frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem miles on all oneworld member airlines. Sinbad Elite members will also be able to use frequent flyer benefits including lounge access when travelling with other oneworld members.
With the move, oneworlds’ Middle East coverage increases to three airlines in the region, with Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian also members.
In terms of destinations, there will be new destinations including Duqm and Khasab in Oman and Chittagong (Bangladesh), serving 41 destinations in 20 territories. The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 737s, 787s and Airbus A330s – configured in a two or three-class cabin.
Oman Air operates flights 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.
Oman Air CEO Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi (seated, left) and oneworld CEO Rob Gurney (seated, right) sign the agreement for Oman Air to join oneworld in Doha at the IATA Annual General Meeting – Image, oneworld.
oneworld Governing Board Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Executive Akbar Al Baker said:
“Today marks a new milestone in oneworld, as our friends at Oman Air become a member elect of our award-winning alliance. Passengers of Oman Air will be offered a seamless travel journey, connecting them to more than 900 destinations across 170 countries. As the Chairman of oneworld, we look forward to welcoming Oman Air into our alliance as they will bring great benefits, allowing passengers to discover not just a new member with an excellent reputation, but a beautiful country.”
oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said:
“We are delighted that Oman Air has chosen oneworld as its global airline alliance partner. With its network in Muscat and award-winning customer service, Oman Air will reinforce our position as the premier airline alliance for global travellers. As the global travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, the significant growth of oneworld in recent years demonstrates how important alliances and partnerships will continue to be.”
Oman Air CEO Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi said:
“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. 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.”
A growing alliance
oneworld has been through a major period of growth over the past five years, as it has added three new airlines to its alliance – with Royal Air Maroc joining the alliance in April 2020 (the alliance’s first African continent member), as well as Alaska Airlines, increasing its US West Coast coverage in March 2021.
Outside oneworld, Saudia is an active member of Skyteam. Meanwhile, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways and Etihad are still sitting out of the alliance game, whilst Emirates does what Emirates do best.
For passengers, extra connectivity options are always welcome – especially as the world adjusts and recovers from the past few years, by opening new routes, connectivity and comfort along the way.
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