Oman Air Eyes Direct Flights To USA By 2022

Filed Under: Oman Air

Oman Air is one of my favorite “boutique” airlines, as they have a fantastic onboard product, with great business class seats and Omani hospitality. Well, the airline is once again claiming that they plan to launch flights to the USA soon… but will they actually follow through on it this time?

Oman Air’s Past Promises Of US Service

In early 2016 I wrote about how Oman Air executives claimed that the airline would offer daily flights to New York by 2018. In 2018 the airline even filed for permission with the DOT to operate such a route, and it was granted in early 2019, but the airline never followed through with the service.

Oman Air’s excellent 787 business class

Oman Air is one of a countless number of national airlines that has eyed New York service, even if the chances for profitability are slim.

Kenya Airways is the perfect example of this — they took so much pride in launching Nairobi to New York flights a couple of years back, and the route was called a “game changer.”

Kenya Airways flies to New York, but doesn’t make money doing so

Yet just months after launching service, the company’s CEO said “there is nothing lucrative about flying to New York.”

Oman Air never followed through with their 2016 promise, though in fairness the company also had management changes, and airlines with frequent management changes almost never seem to follow through on things like this.

Oman Air Wants To Fly To USA By 2022

As reported by Business Insider, Oman Air Aviation Group CEO Mustafa Al Hinai has indicated that Oman Air plans to offer regularly scheduled service between Oman and at least one destination in the United States by 2022 at the latest. As Al Hinai explains it:

“Flying to the US will happen in through a codeshare in the meantime, but in late 2021, 2022, we’ll be focusing into the US market. Because it’s a very big market.

But we need to really understand the market first, it’s very complex, each and every city. I think we need to invest into this market by understanding the nature of travelers, the type of travelers, what they like, what they dislike.”

Currently Oman Air has a codeshare agreement with Air Italy, meaning that Oman Air passengers can fly Oman Air from Muscat to Milan, and then Air Italy from Milan to Miami or New York.

Oman Air has a codeshare agreement with Air Italy for US flights

However, a one-stop routing with an airline change doesn’t give Oman Air any advantage over dozens of other airlines.

While the airline would partly operate the flight with the intent of making Oman a hub for other destinations in the Middle East, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, the biggest goal is to attract visitors to actually come to Oman. As the CEO describes:

“We are very much working on the destination model, focusing more on inbound travelers to Oman. We are connecting passengers, and we are bringing more quality passengers to stay in Oman for leisure or business.

A direct flight to New York would cover a distance of about 7,050 miles, so it would be by far their longest route. Currently Oman Air’s furthest route is to Manila, which covers a distance of 4,120 miles.

Bottom Line

As someone who loves flying with Oman Air, I hope the airline follows through on this route. While Oman Air doesn’t belong to any of the global alliances, it is possible to earn and redeem Etihad Guest miles for travel on Oman Air.

While the route almost certainly wouldn’t make money, it could still make sense for the national airline. If it attracts additional tourists to Oman who are spending a lot to visit, then that could potentially justify a money-losing route.

Do you think Oman Air will follow through with US flights this time around?

Comments
  1. If and when Oman Air starts their US operations they would be over run by Indians passengers as their fares are at least 20% less than EK/QR.

    Their connections to India are excellent and already they transport a lot of pax from India to Europe and Saudi.

  2. That would be great. Oman has the most hospitable people I have ever experienced, great cuisine and amazing sceneries.
    Alila al akhdar is one of my favorite hotels worldwide. Check it out.

  3. They are a fantastic airline and my favourite to Europe – Omani people are very hospitable and the country is an unexplored treasure, not to mention their business and first class service – I think they’re the best middle eastern carrier with lots of locals onboard

  4. I would do a Houston launch instead with the type of industry that Oman is ossociated to and code share with UA for the rest of America.

  5. Oman is a quite expensive place to visit. They need to get that negative under control if they want to get more visitors staying from places other then winter-escaping Germans and Russians.

  6. I too am curious about trying to get into New York. I would have to imagine, at least from a business perspctive, that IAH would make more sense to start, but perhaps I am discounting the tourist trade too much.

  7. I have flown with Oman Air – both on their short-haul and long-haul flights and while I enjoyed their flights, their long-haul was definitely better than their short-haul. My first flight was from South Asia to Kuala Lumpur and both legs were operated by Airbus A330 variety and the service was good, the amenities on board were great, and you even got an amenity kit in economy class (there were also leg rests – you can see the full review on my blog).

    As I was so impressed with my first experience I decided to book Oman Air again when flying from South Asia to Egypt. My first leg from South Asia to Muscat again was great – nice updated planes and great service; however, the leg from Muscat to Egypt and return was one of the worst experiences I have ever had on a plane. The plane was an old Boeing 737 with extremely tight seat pitch, there was no IFE, the food smelled and looked horrible, and the service was extremely bad (in fact on the FA’s got into a screaming match with a fellow passenger). You can see the full review on my blog.

    3 out of 4 of my flights with Oman Air were good, but the one that was bad was really bad. I would compare Oman Air with Gulf Air as both provide lower competitive fares and other medium class service – and are consistent in offering a great economy class product and I look forward to seeing their flights to the US

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *