Select Page

OMAN AIR: Joining OneWorld later this year but when?

OMAN AIR: Joining OneWorld later this year but when?

One of the major airline alliances is OneWorld, consisting of airlines such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Royal Jordanian, plus associate airlines like Fiji Airways. Oman Air has been slated to join the alliance in 2024 for some time.

But, it looks like those who were hoping for the membership to take effect in the first half of the year are going to be sorely disappointed. Even those like me who were hoping for the membership to progress before July ’24 look like they will be disappointed. Not that I have any self-interest. The fact that I may or may not have flights booked with them in July and August is of course neither here nor there!


a seat in an airplane
The window Apex Suite on Oman Air’s A330. Stunnng [Schuetz/2PAXfly]


Oman Air first announced its intention to apply back in 2021. It was then announced at the IATA annual general meeting in June 2022 held in Doha, Qatar.

OneWorld seems to recently be adding one new airline to the alliance each year. In the last couple of years, they have added two members Alaska Airlines and Royal Air Maroc. On the minus side, they lost South American airline member LATAM.

a glass of champagne and a bowl of nuts on a table
Nuts and champagne. Who could ask for more? [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Who are Oman Air

Muscat, Oman-based, it operates a fleet of just shy of 50 aircraft covering Boeing 787 and 737s and Airbus A330s. I have travelled on the 787 and a330, and I was scheduled to travel on a 737 for over 6 hours but that is a story I’ve told before.

It’s a bit of a boutique airline, and it has the most sensational Business Class and First Class products to match. It has Apex Suites in Business Class, which is one of the best suites out there in my opinion. I travelled with them last year, and I am booked to travel with them again in 2024.

I should point out that Oman Air does not fly to Australia. If you want to fly with them, say to Europe, then you will need to connect to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian usually, or Bangkok with Thai Airways. They fly into European destinations as diverse as Milan, London and Zurich (that’s with the 737!).

Besides their seats, they tend to have good connection times in Oman between Asia and Europe and have been offering some sensational airfares – business return between Australia and Europe for under AU$7,500, and even as low as just a whisker over AU$7,000.

Some have had inconsistent service, but not me. But then I have only flown them one time but on four sectors. Service was good on all four. I guess my trip later this year will test that consistency further.

Arabic Coffee and dates on Oman Air Business Class
The ‘more’ is Arabic coffee and dates. [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Recent troubles

Like most airlines post-pandemic, Oman Air is having some issues with financial viability. Some of these issues predate the pandemic but certainly were not helped by it. To help solve the problems, Oman Air has employed the consultancy services of Oliver Wyman, which has an aeronautical wing. It appears their advice is standard of the shrink-to-survive philosophy, or so, some observers report. That probably accounts for the shrinking of my flight out of Europe from an A330 to a Boeing 737 MAX.

What OneWorld have said

According to an interview conducted on the sidelines of the opening of the first alliance branded lounge in Seoul by ET with a OneWorld Vice President, who indicated it would be in the second half of the year, saying that they were about halfway through the process, which usually takes between 12 and 24 months. That means, on the shorter time scale there is at least another 6 months – so say July at the earliest, and if we take the longer 24-month period, probably in December – just scraping into this current year.

The ET article does not say as much as this, but OMAAT agrees with this assessment

Technology branding and promotions

Apparently, it’s integrating the technology – the booking systems that is always the issue in these new alliance memberships. Integrating technologies always takes longer than predicted, and costs twice as much! So no surprise there.

The other pieces of the joining puzzle are largely due to hashing out branding essentials between airline and OneWorld, and joint promotion responsibilities. Again these can also cause delays in my experience, where one party seas something as an essential and another seas it as overkill.

a plate of food on a table
Arabic Mezza on Oman Air. Delicious. Look at that cutlery layout too. [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Benefits to OneWorld flyers

The benefit for OneWorld loyalists will be another foothold in the Middle East. For Qantas frequent flyers this will be important. Especially given that Qantas and Qatar seem to have forgotten how to play nice. Stories abound of enmity between the former CEOs Akbar al Bakar, and Alan Joyce. Qatar rewards seat availability is said to have been reduced for booking through Qantas.

Oman Air as another Middle Eastern-based carrier will provide additional options for redeeming your Qantas points, and with alliance-wide upgrades on the drawing board, not to be snorted at. It will also extend Oman’s codeshare arrangements from current partners like Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and Sri Lankan Airlines to the whole of the Oneworld network.

You will also be able to weave them into your round-the-world points redemption booking or cash purchase options.

That’s all on top of their wonderful Business Class suites, and fully enclosed First Class suites on some aircraft including their 787s.

a tv on a shelf in an airplane
The view from the Oman Air Business Class suite on the A330 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Oman Air was a bit of a revelation to me when I flew with them in 2023 to London, via Kuala Lumpur and Muscat. On the way back we took the opportunity to spend a few days in Oman. It was an impressive experience despite the searing temperatures of high summer in Oman. It’s not a backpacker destination mind you, but it is fascinating.

It is at once a very old and very new country. Fascinating.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!