Oman Air achieved the third “FFP Innovation Award” at the annual Frequent Flyer Conference held on 11 March 2008 in Istanbul Turkey. Airline Information in conjunction with their partner Global Flight, organized the voting for the "FFP Innovation Awards". FFP 2008 hosted over 300 delegates represented by 75 international airlines and the top experts and suppliers in the industry. FFP spin-off strategies, new international accounting standards, dynamic reward management, emotional loyalty, mixed relationships with credit card partners, and the need for loyalty currency itself were just some of the issues discussed at the 4th annual FFP Conference "Taking Loyalty to Financial Heights".
In this regard, Mohammed Mubarak Al Shikely, Senior Manager Marketing stated that any frequent flyer program may submit a single nomination for its own program. This nomination should outline one innovative achievement for the year 2007 that they believe deserves recognition. He explained that the basis for these awards was that each airline was allowed to nominate itself for an innovation achieved by its frequent flyer program in the Year 2007. He informed that scores of nominations were submitted, whereby active airline employees then voted for their choice of the most innovative nomination. However, no one was permitted to vote for a nomination from his/her own airline. The "FFP Innovation Awards" are therefore unique in the industry as the only awards where airline employees recognize their best competitors in the area of customer loyalty.
Al Shikely added that the top five programs receiving the most votes from a community of over 150 airlines were Aeroplan: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS): EuroBonus, VirginBlue: Velocity, Emirates Airline: Skywards, and Oman Air: Sindbad. He informed that the results of the voting this year were that SAS won the second place "Silver Innovation Award" and Aeroplan, the leading rewards program in Canada, won the first place "Gold Innovation Award”, where Oman Air was recognized for noted achievement He acknowledged, as it achieved third place. In fact, Oman Air received within several votes of both SAS and Aeroplan with the next placed airline placing statistically a very distant forth place.
Roger Williams, Managing Partner, Airline Information said that due to the close nature of the voting, the organizers stated that they are honored to list Oman Air on the soon-to-be-Launched 2008 FFP Innovation Award website as "Up-and-Coming" Loyalty Program of 2008, informing the loyalty world, that Oman Air's loyalty program is an important one to be watched. They further added, “With the objective of extending status and privileges particularly in the region of origin of most of our members and not being part of a global alliance, Oman Air is building its own alliance in the fast-developing Gulf region to expand on an intercontinental scale. Completing a comprehensive partnership agreement with Gulf Air whereby members not only earn/burn miles but also get reciprocal airport benefits, Etihad Airways became another airline in the region with whom Oman Air signed an FFP partnership agreement with in 2007. That makes an alliance of three mid-sized airlines of the five emerging ones in the region initiated by Oman Air. In addition to the code-share agreement with Gulf Air, Oman Air has also signed a code-share agreement with Emirates whereby it offers mileage earning benefits and some of the airport privileges to its members on the code-share flights”.
Corporate Communications and Media Department of Oman Air said that over the past four years, FFP Conference and publications have raised the standard for airline loyalty professionals. Now one of the most prestigious awards in the business, the FFP Innovation Award recognizes the innovative achievements of the airline loyalty community through peer voting. Out of 75 international airlines and top experts and suppliers in the industry, 22 frequent flyer programs from around the world submitted nominations this year, describing their innovative developments and promotions during the fiscal year 2007. Those were, Emirates Airline , Etihad Airways, MEA, SAS, Lufthansa, Virgin Blue, Air Canada, US Airways, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines, TAP ( Air Portugal ), Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Air Berlin, MALEV , TAM, LAN, TUI FLY.COM ( HAPAG-LLOYD EXPRESS), Cathay Pacific, Jet Airways.