Yay: Oman Air Joining Oneworld Alliance In 2024

Yay: Oman Air Joining Oneworld Alliance In 2024

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In September 2021, my favorite boutique airline revealed its desire to join the oneworld alliance. Roughly nine months later, it has now been revealed that this will happen — woot!

Oman Air interested in oneworld alliance

Oman Air will be joining the oneworld alliance, in a process that should be completed by 2024 (so unfortunately it’s going to be some time). This development was announced at the IATA annual general meeting, which is currently taking place in Doha, Qatar.

Last year Oman Air revealed its plans to apply to join the oneworld global alliance. The Muscat-based airline was hoping for Qatar Airways’ support in accomplishing this. Qatar Airways is not only another airline from the region, but also a oneworld member airline. For that matter, Qatar Airways’ CEO has been the chairman of oneworld for the past year, and one of his primary goals was to expand membership in the alliance.

Oman Air business class

The oneworld alliance is one of the three major global alliances. Major airlines in oneworld include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and more. In the past couple of years the alliance added two new members (Alaska and Royal Air Maroc), but also lost one member (LATAM).

What is Oman Air, anyway?

Oman Air is a Muscat-based airline, and it operates a fleet of nearly 50 aircraft, including 787s, A330s, and 737s. This is definitely more of a “boutique” airline, and doesn’t compete on the global scale that Emirates and Qatar Airways do, for example. Oman Air flies as far West as the UK, and as far East as the Philippines.

Oman Air has an incredible business class product — the airline has Apex Suites in business class, and even has first class on select Boeing 787-9s.

I’m thrilled that Oman Air is joining the oneworld alliance — oneworld offers the strongest elite recognition of any major alliance (I love being a oneworld Emerald), and the prospect of earning and redeeming oneworld miles for travel on Oman Air is exciting.

For what it’s worth, for the time being Oman Air has a partnership with Air Canada Aeroplan, so redeeming Aeroplan points is currently the best value for Oman Air awards.

Oman Air first class

Is Oman Air a good fit for oneworld?

In some ways I’m surprised that oneworld is the alliance that Oman Air is joining. As much as I’m personally thrilled about this, on the surface you’d think that Star Alliance would be a better fit:

  • The oneworld alliance already has Qatar Airways, one of the biggest Gulf airlines, which competes pretty directly with Oman Air for connecting traffic
  • Star Alliance, on the other hand, doesn’t have any airlines immediately from that region; the closest airlines would be EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, but I wouldn’t consider those to be direct competitors in the same way

I suspect this comes down to Qatar Airways and Oman Air cooperating pretty closely in general, and really viewing themselves more as partners than as rivals. Qatar Airways is even currently leasing planes from Oman Air, given Qatar Airways’ aircraft shortage due to the A350 grounding.

I suspect this friendship between the airlines is part of the reason that Oman Air selected oneworld.

Star Alliance would have been a good fit for Oman Air as well

Bottom line

Oman Air is joining the oneworld alliance, and that process should be completed by 2024. While Oman Air’s desire to join the alliance was first revealed in September 2021, it’s nice to see this finally happening. As a oneworld loyalist, I’m thrilled to see that this great small airline will be part of a global alliance.

It’s just too bad that this process is so slow, and that Oman Air won’t be a full member of the alliance for roughly two more years.

What do you make of Oman Air joining oneworld?

Conversations (28)
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  1. D3kingg Guest

    When can we book Oman air with AA miles ? What’s better from London to Muscat ? First class or business class? How many miles does that cost ?

  2. SullyofDoha Guest

    This is just another way for Qatar Airways to cut down competition and engage in collusion through code share flights. It sucks if you live in Oman or Qatar :-(

  3. FTrump Guest

    One world doesn't have good value going to Europe using AA/Alaska since British Airways always goes through LHR and adds large surcharge and tax..

    1. Endlich Guest

      British Airways always fly to the Britain if heading to Europe? Shocking.

  4. Leigh Gold

    Haven't flown them, and look forward to Stuart's update after flying to LHR.

    In addition to the political rationale, I can see other benefits. Though on a smaller scale, this will enable oneworld to bracket DXB, which is comparable to how American tries to bracket ATL with DFW and CLT.

    Being based in the US, personally would love to see Gol (and I think that will happen), and Viva Aerobus in Mexico for the connectivity...

    Haven't flown them, and look forward to Stuart's update after flying to LHR.

    In addition to the political rationale, I can see other benefits. Though on a smaller scale, this will enable oneworld to bracket DXB, which is comparable to how American tries to bracket ATL with DFW and CLT.

    Being based in the US, personally would love to see Gol (and I think that will happen), and Viva Aerobus in Mexico for the connectivity (and it's a decent LCC product). I suspect Indigo will end up with Oneworld given their codeshare agreement with AA.

    Now, about that gaping hole in Central/Eastern Europe...hmmm.

  5. Stuart Guest

    I am at Muscat airport right now and I can’t recall the last time you reviewed them but, will say this, my flight on WY in F from BKK tonight was probably the worst F flight I’ve ever taken. The seat is fine, I would compare it to Etihad F as they go. But the service, food, and delivery was dismal. I barely ate anything as it tasted like pandemic era domestic F food in...

    I am at Muscat airport right now and I can’t recall the last time you reviewed them but, will say this, my flight on WY in F from BKK tonight was probably the worst F flight I’ve ever taken. The seat is fine, I would compare it to Etihad F as they go. But the service, food, and delivery was dismal. I barely ate anything as it tasted like pandemic era domestic F food in the US thrown on nicer plates. I’ll be on the London flight in the afternoon and see if this was just a one off. But thus far it is NOT the same airline (other than the seats) that bloggers love to gush over. Lounge is nice though and empty. And the Aerotel is quite handy right next to the lounge and surprisingly ok.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Please let us know how the LHR flight goes.

    2. Stuart Guest

      Ok, London flight from Muscat was like an entirely different airline compared to the BKK flight. Was fantastic. Service, food, everything was on par with Etihad and Emirates. In some cases even more personal. The lounge if flying F is amazing in that with so few seats in First it’s completely empty yet very spacious. I spent six hours there and was the only person with five staff looking after me. It was almost awkward!...

      Ok, London flight from Muscat was like an entirely different airline compared to the BKK flight. Was fantastic. Service, food, everything was on par with Etihad and Emirates. In some cases even more personal. The lounge if flying F is amazing in that with so few seats in First it’s completely empty yet very spacious. I spent six hours there and was the only person with five staff looking after me. It was almost awkward! The airport is a dream. Modern, efficient and virtually empty. I talked to the chief purser about the dismal BKK flight and she told me they are having serious issues with out stations as they just really started ramping up again. She said even London departures are having problems with poor quality catering, wrong or no menus, no amenity kits loaded etc. She thinks in a month or two things will start to get better. EX Muscat though and you will experience the real product…and it’s very worthwhile.

  6. D3kingg Guest

    2024 isn’t that far away. I would visit Muscat. Nice to have another luxury product as part of OW. Worth taking a closer look at Oman Air and their routes.

  7. roger Guest

    ONEWORLD needs an Eastern European partner (LOT comes to mind even though they are already in STAR) along with some connective partner in South America (GOL and whoever) that can service the interior of the continent. I was never a fan of LATAM and never cared for them once they merged with TAM. Southeast Asia needs some attention with maybe Philippine Airlines added or Bamboo from Vietnam. Once things shake out China Southern would be a good addition covering PRC.

    1. Cmarc Guest

      OW already has Malaysia Airlines in Southeast Asia. Given the current state, I doubt Philippine will even consider joining any major alliance anytime soon and even if they do, it'll most likely be Star Alliance because of their close relationship with ANA.

      Bamboo Airways is still young and their current network won't add much value to the alliance, but it may change in the next few years so let's wait and see.

      Out of the...

      OW already has Malaysia Airlines in Southeast Asia. Given the current state, I doubt Philippine will even consider joining any major alliance anytime soon and even if they do, it'll most likely be Star Alliance because of their close relationship with ANA.

      Bamboo Airways is still young and their current network won't add much value to the alliance, but it may change in the next few years so let's wait and see.

      Out of the remaining airlines in Southeast Asia, only Royal Brunei could be the more plausible addition for OW, at least as a OW Connect member.

    2. LEo Member

      Maybe China Southern could join Oneworld after their exit on Skyteam and how AA owns some stocks in them.

  8. BenjaminGuttery Gold

    This is EXCELLENT news! Now they just need to add another European partner, a South American partner, and another regional Asia partner and they will be the strongest alliance! I find holes with them when I'm flying to parts of Europe, India, and South America now. Very excited to visit Oman someday soon!

    1. Julia Guest

      Oneworld also has Royal Jordanian in the region as well. For connectivity, it's a better option than Oman Air, even if Oman Air has a better onboard product.

      Still, at the end of the day, it is good to see more Arab and Middle Eastern airlines sign up to join the different alliances.

  9. Maxie Dean Guest

    @Ben - what destinations are served by Oman with F equipped aircraft? Thanks

    1. Stuart Guest

      BKK and LHR I know for sure. And usually good award availability via Aeroplan. For now at least.

  10. sam Guest

    I wish Star Alliance would pick up Emirates to complete with this!

  11. Tom Guest

    Ben - what are WY like for award availability?
    Any patterns, 2 or 4 seats per flight etc.?

  12. VT-CIE Gold

    WY will be the fourth Arab-world airline in Oneworld after QR, Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc. Meanwhile the Star Alliance has only EgyptAir, though ET, TK and AI also cover the Middle East well. SkyTeam is poorer off, with only Saudia and Middle East Airlines to speak of. But I do think Oneworld is the best choice for Oman Air, from its collaboration with QR (including the blockade years) to the class-leading 787/A330 hard...

    WY will be the fourth Arab-world airline in Oneworld after QR, Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc. Meanwhile the Star Alliance has only EgyptAir, though ET, TK and AI also cover the Middle East well. SkyTeam is poorer off, with only Saudia and Middle East Airlines to speak of. But I do think Oneworld is the best choice for Oman Air, from its collaboration with QR (including the blockade years) to the class-leading 787/A330 hard product to the mileage opportunities: it’s doing a far better job than Royal Jordanian anyway.

    It seems Oneworld is okay with letting go of the whole of Latin America in favour of getting more Middle Eastern partners. At this point, the Star Alliance would do well to pick up Gulf Air, whose premium product is so good as to be on par with WY, but gets much less attention. All those talks of Etihad and United/Star are baseless to me, as it needs to merge with its cross-country rival EK to counter Oneworld’s increasing dominance in the Middle East.

    1. Marco Guest

      Gulf Air can be booked on Aeroplan along with other star alliance carrier. Even Oman Air flights can be booked on the flights to and from Europe. Not forgetting Etihad which is also bookable on Aeroplan.

  13. uldguy Diamond

    Finally, some good news from oneworld. I’m not happy about it taking until 2024 to get them onboard, but it’s great news nevertheless.

  14. david Guest

    Qatar and Oman have a very close political relationship. QR essentially runs WY these days and that's why they are joining OW not anything else

  15. Dn10 Guest

    Hopefully Aer Lingus and something in Latin America next.

    1. Mike O. Guest

      All the destinations flown by Starlux are covered by CX or HK Express so they have nothing to offer. What they need is someone from China, but all the major players are either already with an alliance or with China Southern, choose to go their own route and team up with DL. I'm not sure what's left in Latin America as Avianca is with Star, LATAM has left oneworld to also team up with DL.

    2. ernestnywang New Member

      Starlux has been using the exact booking class sequence as oneworld standard since its launch (JCD and YBHKLMVSNQ). Agree CX might not like it, but Starlux's intention to join oneworld is also clear.

      Don't get why EI is not back yet. Not even oneworld connect.

  16. Mak Guest

    Oman is a good airline, but this does very little for anybody living in the Americas and nothing to solve One World's gaping hole in South America and extreme weakness in Asia where its members are all on life-support or flatlining.

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Stuart Guest

I am at Muscat airport right now and I can’t recall the last time you reviewed them but, will say this, my flight on WY in F from BKK tonight was probably the worst F flight I’ve ever taken. The seat is fine, I would compare it to Etihad F as they go. But the service, food, and delivery was dismal. I barely ate anything as it tasted like pandemic era domestic F food in the US thrown on nicer plates. I’ll be on the London flight in the afternoon and see if this was just a one off. But thus far it is NOT the same airline (other than the seats) that bloggers love to gush over. Lounge is nice though and empty. And the Aerotel is quite handy right next to the lounge and surprisingly ok.

3
Stuart Guest

Ok, London flight from Muscat was like an entirely different airline compared to the BKK flight. Was fantastic. Service, food, everything was on par with Etihad and Emirates. In some cases even more personal. The lounge if flying F is amazing in that with so few seats in First it’s completely empty yet very spacious. I spent six hours there and was the only person with five staff looking after me. It was almost awkward! The airport is a dream. Modern, efficient and virtually empty. I talked to the chief purser about the dismal BKK flight and she told me they are having serious issues with out stations as they just really started ramping up again. She said even London departures are having problems with poor quality catering, wrong or no menus, no amenity kits loaded etc. She thinks in a month or two things will start to get better. EX Muscat though and you will experience the real product…and it’s very worthwhile.

2
VT-CIE Gold

WY will be the fourth Arab-world airline in Oneworld after QR, Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc. Meanwhile the Star Alliance has only EgyptAir, though ET, TK and AI also cover the Middle East well. SkyTeam is poorer off, with only Saudia and Middle East Airlines to speak of. But I do think Oneworld is the best choice for Oman Air, from its collaboration with QR (including the blockade years) to the class-leading 787/A330 hard product to the mileage opportunities: it’s doing a far better job than Royal Jordanian anyway. It seems Oneworld is okay with letting go of the whole of Latin America in favour of getting more Middle Eastern partners. At this point, the Star Alliance would do well to pick up Gulf Air, whose premium product is so good as to be on par with WY, but gets much less attention. All those talks of Etihad and United/Star are baseless to me, as it needs to merge with its cross-country rival EK to counter Oneworld’s increasing dominance in the Middle East.

2
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