Oman Air is celebrating unprecedented success across a range of international awards and magazine ‘best of…’ lists over the course of 2014. The acclaim has recognised the high quality of Oman Air’s work in every area of its operations and provides a perfect foundation for the next phase of the airline’s ambitious expansion programme, which will start later this year.
The scene was set in January 2014, when American Express Executive Travel magazine named Oman Air as the second best airline in the world, and the prestigious US-based website Business Insider listed Oman Air in the top ten of its World’s Best Airlines 2014 list. In compiling their list, Executive Travel established a number of baseline criteria, such as fully lie-flat beds, the amount of space between seats and easy access for passengers to the aisle. In addition, the magazine consulted a range of industry experts, and the views of travellers, industry insiders, experienced flight attendants and travel bloggers were also taken into account. Meanwhile, the criteria for Business Insider’s list included the quality of the passenger experience and the airline’s punctuality.
Oman Air’s first award of the year was received in recognition of the exceptional contribution the airline has made to sporting achievement in the Sultanate. At the Oman Sports Awards Gala, which were held at Muscat’s Grand Hyatt Hotel in February 2014 and were organised by the Oman Ministry for Sports Affairs, His Excellency Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Mardhouf Al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, presented a Silver Award to the airline. Oman Air’s support in the last few years for the country’s sportsmen and sportswomen has included sponsoring the national soccer team, backing international motorsports star Ahmad Al Harthy’s Oman Racing Team, entering the Extreme Sailing Series and the trans-Atlantic Route Du Rhum yacht race and sponsoring a series of international polo tournaments.
Following the sports award, Oman Air’s onboard products came into the spotlight, with the winning in April 2014 of Gold Award for Best First Class Male Amenity Bag at the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards. Presented by Editor in Chief Simon Ward at an exclusive ceremony in Hamburg, which coincided with the city’s annual Aircraft Interiors exhibition, the award followed consideration by judges of 120 submissions for 20 categories. This was the fourth year in a row that Oman Air’s amenity kits had been recognised by TravelPlus, demonstrating that the airline is committed to the highest levels of attention to detail.
Just a few weeks later, in May this year, the World Travel Awards named Oman Air as Best Business Class Airline Middle East and Best Economy Class Airline Middle East at a star-studded ceremony in Dubai. This was the second year running that the World Travel Awards had recognised Oman Air’s economy class product which, alongside its business class recognition this year, confirms the airline as an international carrier of outstanding quality.
The same month saw Oman Air scoop three titles at the 8th Oman Web Awards, collecting trophies in the E-commerce, Food and Beverages and Services categories. The awards were organised by the Oman Web Awards Committee and SJS Group (Oman), under the patronage of the Information Technology Authority, and were presented at an impressive ceremony held at the awe-inspiring Al Bustan Palace hotel.
And in June, Oman Air was delighted to accept the Best Arab Air Carrier award, as well as a special award in appreciation of its long-term and continuing support for the Arab Tourism Media, at the Arab Tourism Media Awards, which were again held at the Al Bustan Palace hotel.
In the same month, Oman Air’s international reputation received a further boost, following the airline’s inclusion within Swiss business magazine Bilanz’s list of the world’s Best 25 Airlines 2014. The magazine placed Oman Air 11th within its list, with the airline’s First Class, Business Class, onboard service, airport lounges and check-in service all scoring particularly highly.
Oman Air’s relations with the travel industry have also been the subject of international acclaim, with UK trade publications hailing Oman Air’s quality. In July, TTG shortlisted the Oman Air in the Airline of the Year category of the TTG Travel Awards, and BMI Selling Travel shortlisted the carrier in the Airline to the Middle East category of the Travel Agents Choice Awards. The results of both awards programmes will be announced later in the year.
Just days later, the Farnborough Air Show, in England, was the setting for a glittering ceremony which recognised the very best that 21st Century air travel has to offer. To Oman Air’s delight, it won one category, was placed second and third in two others and achieved top ten positions in a further seven categories of the World Airline Awards, organised by independent airline quality experts Skytrax. The awards are decided following a year-long global survey of nearly 19 million air travellers, drawn from more than 100 countries and covering more than 200 airlines, making them some of the most highly-regarded in the aviation industry.
Speaking about the remarkable level of acclaim and award wins that Oman Air has achieved this year, the airline’s Senior Manager for Corporate Communications and Media, Usama Karim al Haremi, said:
“Over the last five years, Oman Air has been delighted to receive countless awards in recognition of the extraordinarily high standards of the products and services we offer to our customers.
“However, the astonishing amount of awards and acclaim we have received to date in 2014 make this year particularly notable.
“Having made major investments in the quality of every aspect of our work, with the aim of both ensuring that we maintain and improve upon our passenger experience, and of laying sound foundations for further growth, we are extremely pleased to see that our efforts are being appreciated.
“As Oman Air approaches its next phase of rapid expansion, which will start later this year with the arrival of the first of the 20 aircraft we have on order, it is immensely satisfying to know that air travellers, travel agents and operators, and industry experts alike feel that the products and services we offer are amongst the very best in the world.”