Oman Air announced today that it is joining the oneworld airline alliance, alongside British Airways. We knew that the airline was interested in signing up but there was no sign that discussions were so advanced.
This means that, by 2024, you will be able to earn and redeem Avios on Oman Air flights between the UK and Muscat and connecting destinations onwards.
Qatar Airways, which already works closely with Oman Air, has agreed to act as sponsor for the application and provide support for the integration.
Adding Oman Air will give oneworld an even stronger position in the Middle East, flying alongside Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian.
It leaves Star Alliance and SkyTeam looking a little exposed, albeit that Star Alliance has EGYPTAIR and SkyTeam has Middle East Airlines and Saudia. Whilst Emirates is unlikely to ever join a major alliance, pressure may now increase on Etihad to partner with one of the other two groupings.
Oman Air adds three new destinations to the oneworld route map – Duqm and Khasab in Oman and Chittagong in Bangladesh. The airline has lounges in Muscat, Salalah and Bangkok which will become available to British Airways Gold and Silver members who are flying on a oneworld airline.
Oman Air currently flies to 41 destinations in 20 territories, using a fleet of Boeing 737, Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 aircraft.
I reviewed Oman Air’s First Class Suite in this article and reviewed their Business Class seat in this article. We reviewed the Oman Air Business Class lounge in Muscat here. At Heathrow it uses the Gulf Air lounge in Terminal 4, although this will presumably switch to the Qatar Airways lounges in 2024.
Oman Air is a classy operation and a worthy addition to the alliance. The only downside is that British Airways is less likely to relaunch its own flights to Oman when Oman Air joins oneworld, in the same way that it no longer flies to Helsinki (home of Finnair) and Kuala Lumpur (home of Malaysia Airlines). You can at least rely on British Airways to open up 14 Avios seats per flight.
For reference, the current list of oneworld alliance members is Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines. Fiji Airlines is a ‘oneworld Connect’ partner members. The membership of Russian airline S7 is currently suspended.