Oman Air will join the oneworld alliance, a step aimed at strengthening the Middle East country’s tourism sector.
The carrier is expected to be fully part of oneworld by 2024. It currently operates to five oneworld member airline hubs: Amman (AMM) in Jordan, Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka, Doha (DOH), Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and London Heathrow (LHR). It also already has codeshare agreements with four oneworld members: Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines.
Oman Air said it will add new destinations to its network, extending the reach of oneworld. New destinations will include Duqm (DQM) and Khasab (KHS) in Oman, and Chittagong (CGP in Bangladesh.
Oman Air CEO Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi said oneworld membership will help Oman increase annual tourism arrivals from 3.2 million in 2019 to a target of 11 million by 2040. He added the airline will remain a point-to-point operator and the entrance into oneworld will help bring passengers into its Muscat (MCT) base and the rest of its network.
When asked by Aviation Week Network at the recent IATA AGM in Doha if three oneworld members in Middle East (Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and Oman Air) would pose any competition issues, oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said that–while there are some overlapping in routes and codeshares–having a new airline in the alliance will push other oneworld airlines to rethink network planning options.
Oman Air currently flies to 41 destinations and has 50 aircraft in its fleet, including nine Boeing 787s and 11 737 MAX 8 aircraft.