Oman Air is the flagship carrier of the Sultanate of Oman and an Official 4 Star Airline (Skytrax 2011). Founded in 1993, the airline has since witnessed massive growth and has played a major role in making Muscat an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting the commercial, industrial and tourism sectors.
Currently Oman Air’s fleet consists of two Boeing 787 Dreamliners, six Airbus 330-300s, four Airbus 330-200s, five Boeing 737-900s, 18 Boeing 737-800, one Boeing 737-700, four Embraer 175s and an ATR 42. Four more Dreamliners will join the fleet in the following years. By 2018, Oman Air’s total fleet size is expected to be around 57 aircraft, rising to 70 aircraft by 2020.
Oman Air scooped four awards at the Oman Airports Management Company Second Annual Awards ceremony, on February 2015. The national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman was recognized as one of the top five airlines by number of passengers carried at Muscat International Airport. It also received an award as one of the top three airlines at Salalah International Airport, as well as receiving accolades in the Non-Aeronautical and Stakeholder of the Year 2014 categories.
Oman Air won two awards at the World Travel Awards Middle East 2015, where the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman came top in the ‘Middle East's Leading Airline - Business Class’ and ‘Middle East's Leading Airline - Economy Class’ categories. Oman Air was also named as the winner of the ’Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East’ award at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2015.
I tried and tested the Business Class seat on this short-haul flight from Muscat International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on the Airbus A330-343X aircraft.
Route: MUSCAT (MCT) to LONDON HEATHROW (LHR)
Departure date and time of flight: August 2015, 14:00
Flight number: WY101 (Oman 101 heavy)
ATC Callsign: Oman
Flight duration: 6 Hours 55 minutes
Class: BUSINESS CLASS
Aircraft type: AIRBUS A330-343X (six aircraft of this type in service)
Aircraft registration: A4O-DB
Aircraft Serial Number: 10044
First flight: 10th September 2009
Aircraft delivery date: 2nd October 2009
Aircraft engine types: Two x RR Trent 772B-60
Frequent flyer programme:
Sinbad is the official frequent flyer program. Click here to see more.
Seat configuration for this aircraft:
First Class: Six suites (1-1-1-1 configuration)
Business Class: 20 flatbed seats with 180 recline in a 1-1-1-1 configuration
Economy Class: 202 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration
Punctuality of the flight/route taken:
The fully booked flight left Muscat on time and landed on time at London Heathrow, with around 10 minutes ahead of schedule of the arrival time.
Any baggage issues:
My bags had been checked in at Kathmandu Airport, so there were no issues at Muscat.
Lounge experience at Muscat Airport:
Business and First Class passengers flying with Oman Air can use the lounge at Muscat Airport, located after security. The first thought is that the lounge is almost empty with hardly a whisker in sight! It is definitely much more relaxed and quieter than what you may see in Doha, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and much more of a relaxing experience. The airport is generally quieter as well, which is a good thing- less crowds!
In-flight magazine: Wings of Oman is the in-flight magazine. Click here to read online PDF copies.
Comments regarding the pre-flight service:
Passengers’ in Business Class are offered hot lemon scented towels prior to departure. This is followed by a drinks service, which consists of some of the world’s finest wines, and champagne. In Business Class, the cabin crew offer various kinds of drinks prior to departure:
I opted for the orange juice on this occasion.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Around about 45 minutes after departure, drinks were served from the trolley.
Comments regarding the first meal:
Starters with salad of mixed leaves and crisp vegetables
For the main course, I opted for the flavours from the Sultanate: Pan-seared kingfish kebab with herb butter sauce, roasted wedges and char-grilled lemon. Very delicious.
Accompanying the main dish was a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit, and a selection of warm bread from the basket.
For dessert, there was homemade apple and blueberry pie, cinnamon sauce, chilled sauce.
Comments regarding the second meal:
The afternoon tea plate consisted of:
The afternoon tea was served with a selection of teas, provided by Twinnings and Dilmah.
Comments on the in-flight entertainment system:
Oman Air offers a variety of in-flight entertainment options, including video, audio and TV. Please click here to see more. On my flight, the IFE system did not work at all, which obviously was disappointing. However, it didn’t really matter much as it was a short flight. It would have been nice if the interactive map was working so that I could see where I was flying over but this was not working. No big deal. Otherwise, the flight experience was good.
Oman Air’s Airbus A330-300 features 20 Business Class seats designed by BE Aerospace. Fitted in a 1-1-1-1 configuration, each comfortable and spacious 22-inch wide seat converts to a 77-82 inch long, fully flat bed.
With electrically-operated backrest, seat bottom, seat depth and leg rest controls, and a folding armrest, each customer remains in control of their own environment for the duration of their flight. Furthermore, one-piece meal table and cocktail table offer a range of dining options, whilst an integrated reading light and mood light controls enable customers to work, read or relax, according to their wishes.
A literature pocket, headset compartment, life vest compartment and ample storage space keep each passenger’s space neat. Access to the aircraft’s leading edge Thales AVANT in-seat audio video on demand (AVOD) inflight entertainment system is through a huge 17-inch monitor and easy-to-use touch screen handset. The system offers a wide range of movies, music, games and information. Charging devices and extended use of laptops is supported by each seat’s universal power outlet and two USB ports.
And, having pioneered complete inflight mobile phone (GSM) and Wi-Fi connectivity in 2010, Oman Air has now raised the bar further by introducing the latest Airbus ALNA system for on-board WiFi and mobile phone usage.
To complement this outstanding comfort and amenity, Oman Air has fitted the same Thales AVANT in-seat audio video on demand (AVOD) system in this short and medium haul aircraft as it has in its new long haul A330s.
Both the Oman Air’s new Airbus A330-300s and new Boeing B737s feature seats newly-designed by Zodiac Aerospace. Each offers exceptional comfort and features a one-piece composite seat back structure, a high seat back pivot and articulating bottom pan and a four-way adjustable headrest.
Seat pitches reflect the length of flights each aircraft are deployed upon, with the A330’s 202 seats offering 32 inches and the 737-900ER’s 171 seats offering 30 inches. A folding aisle-side armrest offers increased ease of access, and a sturdy, bi-fold, sliding food table makes a pleasure of in-seat dining or working.
Meanwhile, the 10.6-inch seatback LCD screen offers access to the same IFE options as those enjoyed in Business Class. A USB is mounted on the LCD screen that can be used to charge any mobile smart phone and each pair of seats shares a PC power port.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The cabin crew appear to have been trained very well, and seem to know how to handle all kinds of situations. The trainers must have had everything thrown at them, ranging from rowdy passengers to those having a nervous breakdown. These people are amazing. They really do pamper you. Most of the cabin crew are not natives of Oman itself, but are from South Asia or Asian countries in general (Philippines, Thailand, India, China etc.).
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
Oman Air’s Airbus A330-300 features 20 Business Class seats designed by BE Aerospace. Fitted in a 1-1-1-1 configuration, each comfortable and spacious 22-inch wide seat converts to a 77-82 inch long, fully flat bed. The Business Class seat looks and feels like a double bed! It is bigger than even some of the First Class seats I have seen on other airlines.
There is certainly plenty of space available. I had my camera bag (which is annoyingly big), plus my laptop (I seldom have to sleep on a daytime flight so I end up working!), AND my carrier bag. All of these were neatly stored before departure. Oh, there is also space for you to put your shoes during the long flight so you can sit like as if you are sitting on your sofa at home. There were plenty of in-flight magazines and newspapers (both Arabic and Western) for passengers.
A luxury amenity kit was provided on this flight by luxury brand Amouage.
Oman Air logo and livery:
In 2008, Oman Air completely overhauled its livery, switching its base colour from red to turquoise blue and ditching the traditional khanjar dagger symbol in favour of a logo representing incense smoke. Oman Air chief executive Ziad Al-Haremi at the time unveiled the new livery at a ceremony in Muscat. The new identity follows the Omani Government’s decision to withdraw from Gulf Air and concentrate on developing Oman Air as the sultanate’s sole flag-carrier. The livery features a gold-and-silver swirl which is reminiscent of a swirl of smoke from the aromatic resin frankincense for which Oman is particularly renowned.
The turquoise colour represents the expanse of both the sky and the sea while the gold and silver colours stand for Oman’s wealth and silver artefacts – including the curved khanjar dagger, the national symbol which Oman Air’s livery previously featured.
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
Special thanks goes to
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
Proud media partner of QATAR AIRWAYS