Less than a year after announcing its intention to join Oneworld, one of the three major global airline alliances, Oman Air has been elected as a designated member. During a quick protocol ceremony, held on the occasion of the IATA general assembly in Doha (Qatar), the general manager of the company Abdulaziz Al Raisi and his counterpart from Oneworld Rob Gurney formalized this future arrival. . Oman Air is expected to become a full member in 2024, when it will enjoy the operational benefits offered by Oneworld.
If he does not close the door to a hub activity in Muscat with 41 destinations served in 20 countries, Abdulaziz Al Raisi affirmed that the priority of his company was to develop point-to-point traffic and attract more in addition to people in Oman. He thus recalls the objective of 11 million visitors by 2040 set up as one of the pillars of the strategic plan “Oman 2040 Economic Vision” and counts on the contribution of Oneworld to make it happen.
This integration of Oman Air comes just over a year after that of Alaska Airlines, and Royal Air Maroc a year earlier. But also two months after the suspension of the Russian company S7 Airlines. Oman Air will therefore become the 15th member of the alliance.
Support from Qatar Airways
With Oman Air, Oneworld continues to strengthen its position in the Middle East, where it has already had Qatar Airways since 2013 and Royal Jordanian since 2007 as members. Moreover, the integration of Oman Air has been facilitated by the support of its strategic partner and influential member of Oneworld, Qatar Airways.
Abdulaziz Al Raisi personally thanked Akbar Al Baker, Managing Director of Qatar Airways and Chairman of the Oneworld Steering Committee, for his support. In a press release, the latter welcomed the arrival of this “new member with an excellent reputation, but also from a magnificent country”.
If the support of Qatar Airways is precious for Oman Air, the opposite could also be true in the event of a new quarrel with the other members of Oneworld. Between 2018 and 2019, the rag had burned between American Airlines, Qantas and the Gulf company. The American group had notably decided to stop all its “code share” agreements with Qatar Airways, considering it more as a threat than as a partner. In response, Akbar Al Baker had threatened to leave Oneworld to create his own alliance. Before changing your mind.
Things had finally settled down, with American Airlines and Qatar Airways even signing a “strategic” partnership, based on a major code share agreement in February 2020, just before the pandemic.
The 25% of the capital of IAG held by Qatar Airways had necessarily had to play, the European group (parent company of British Airways and Iberia in particular) being the main partner of American Airlines. Without having the same scope as IAG of course, Oman Air will therefore provide additional support for Qatar Airways.