Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has celebrated the inauguration of its new Boeing 737 MAX. The addition is part of an exciting fleet and network expansion programme, which will see Oman Air operate new destinations worldwide.
H.E. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, Chairman of Oman Air, said:
I am delighted to be here today to witness the latest addition to the Oman Air fleet. The Boeing 737 MAX is at the forefront of aviation technology and amongst the most efficient planes in the sky today. Oman Air has put an order of 30 MAX aircraft and this is the first aircraft delivery of this order.
As Oman Air embraces a new business model, destination model, following the latest restructuring process by Oman Aviation Group, The Airline will undergo a repositioning program as a point to point national carrier. The new model emulates the best practices by countries that have similar position as that of Oman such as Iceland. Since adapting the destination business model, Iceland Air has increased the number of tourists five-fold since 2010 and delivered profitable growth.
Oman’s key target client base is inbound visitors attracted to Oman as a destination for tourism and business. Hence, this business model levers on a strategic position and a strict integration with Tourism sector
Different factors will be taken into account to leverage on this model such as the development of distinctive leisure-focused network and products, integration with tourism sector and the development of an international marketing strategy with a brand rooted in local culture.
With the expansion of Oman Air fleet with the most efficient planes, world class ground services, excellent marketing and the alignment with other leading sectors, we are confident to make Oman Air the first choice of the targeted 39 million passengers by 2030.
Acting CEO of Oman Air, Eng. Abdulaziz Al-Raisi, celebrates the inauguration of Oman Air’s new Boeing 737 MAX, saying:
This is a very exciting day for us as we take delivery of the first of our 30 Boeing MAX aircraft on order. By the end of 2018 we will receive a total of 5 aircraft into our fleet. They will serve both domestic and short to medium international sectors. The new B737 MAX will be equipped with 12 new Business Class seats with large 17 inch touch screen monitors and all the amenities needed for the busy road warrior such as individual power and USB points. The 150 seat Economy class cabin will also undergo a significant refresh with new interiors, 10.2 inch Thales Gen V touch-screen monitors, high power USB outlets for each triple seats and individual USB outlets for every guests. In June, we will also receive the first of our three 787-9 Dreamliner on order, two of which will have a new First Class product with 8 full privacy mini suites, 24 Business class lie-flat seats with direct aisle access for all guests. Both aircraft will be equipped with leading technology, latest in comfort and amenities, including cutting edge entertainment to enhance the travel experience of our guests.”
Since taking over as Acting CEO in October 2017, our focus has been on bringing down operational costs without shrinking our service offering or network growth. We have opened three new call centres in India, Kuala Lumpur and Romania — all of which now operate 24 hours a day and supplements the Oman based call center, which are fully Omanised.
Omanisation has been a key focus of our policy and we are taking clear steps to fill senior posts with Omani candidates including developing outstanding career prospects across the globe as the airline expands.
In 2018 Oman Air will be launching three new destinations - Casablanca (Morocco) in June, Istanbul (Turkey) in July, and Moscow (Russia) in October. The three new exciting routes are part of Oman Air’s strategic expansion plan, providing a streamlined global network that offers greater connectivity at our Muscat hub.
With a view on driving down costs and maintaining efficiencies, e-commerce and IT investment is a key focus for us. Enhancements to the e-commerce system include an upgraded gateway that accepts more forms of payment, making booking flights for our guests much easier. Visitors to the website “omanair.com” have tripled thereby increasing our sales of over one million USD through our online portal. Oman Air recognizes the importance of the online experience, and therefore two new languages; German and Chinese, are now available through our website.
A new dedicated “Oman” homepage has also been added, which provides useful information and showcases the airline’s latest promotional offers, with more friendly ticket booking and check-in facility, all part of offering greater convenience to our Omani guests.
Our Sindbad loyalty programme has also undergone significant enhancements, now reaching over 700,000 members — demonstrating our commitment to reward and form genuine connection with our loyal guests. Sinbad members can now use their miles to purchase tickets online through the Oman Air website. Members can also use the Oman Air mobile application to download their digital membership card, check on their mileage balance, update their preferences, book a ticket, check-in online and much more. Members’ Facebook accounts can now also be linked to their Sindbad account.
Whilst there has been a great deal of emphasis on keeping costs down, the fleet and network has continued to grow and Oman Air has continued to invest in its award winning on board experience. The ten year relationship with Thales, the world renowned technology company, means that Oman Air can offer the very latest in inflight technology. The 737 MAX is equipped with the advanced state-of-the-art AVANT IFE System. Business Class passengers will enjoy the largest screens provided on a single aisle aircraft and Thales’s unique passenger interface will enable business and economy passengers to access an impressive list of entertainment and informative features.
It is therefore no surprise that with a continued focus on operational excellence, 2017 has been a stellar year for Oman Air. The airline has won four World Travel Awards, Seven Stars Luxury Lifestyle and Hospitality Awards, Skytrax World Airline Awards and the Frontier Awards. Guests and the rest of the industry continue to applaud Oman Air’s unbeatable product offering and inflight service which plays an integral role in the airline’s success; increasing passenger numbers and expanding the network.