Welcome to another segment of the new Travel Radar Fleet Profile series. Under the spotlight today is Oman Air, an emerging Middle Eastern carrier which has shown great improvement and promise in the recent years and great potential for the future.
Oman Air is the flag carriers of the State of Oman and operates from its hub in the Omani capital of Muscat. It also has a hub in Salalah, Oman. The airline operates to a total of 54 domestic and international destinations with a fleet size of the same number. Without further ado, let us get into the fleet details.
Boeing 737 Family.
Oman Air operates 3 variants of the Boeing 737 family, the -800,-900ER and the MAX 8. A total of 31 aircraft are in operation with the airline, 21 of the -800 variants, 5 of the -900ER variants and 5 of the -MAX8 variants. The MAX variants are currently grounded due to the worldwide grounding of the MAXs after the Ethiopian MAX crash, the other 25 orders of the MAX are currently on hold. All three of the variants are in 2-class configuration, with 12 business class seats in all 737’s and varying economy class seats in them. These aircraft are operated on short-medium haul routes around Asia and Africa such as Moscow, Nairobi, Zanzibar, Islamabad.
The first of the current 737-800’s were inducted in 2003, followed by the -900’s from late 2014. The first MAX was delivered to Oman Air in January 2018. Oman has operated the 737-700’s and other classic variants in the past too. Most of these aircraft are leased from an unknown lessor as told by many fleet databases. The addition of the new MAX brought down the avg age of the 737 fleets of the company, yet maintained at a young 5.1 years.
Embraer ERJ 175.
Oman Air operates only 4 Embraer 175s, two of which are the LR variants. They all carry a total of 71 passengers in a 2-class configuration with 11 seats in Business Class and 60 in Economy. The E175’s were delivered to the airline in 2011 and 2012 and maintain an average fleet age of 7.3 years. These aircraft are operated on domestic and short hauls routes inside the Middle East and Arabic region. Example destinations from Muscat would be Mashhad, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait.
AIRBUS A330 FAMILY.
Oman Air operates both the Airbus A330-200 and the -300 aircraft as its base long haul aircraft. The A330’s were received first by the airline in 2009. The first of which was A330-243 A40-DA delivered to Oman Air on September 15, 2009. Another A330-243 and two A330-343X’s were delivered to the Airline in the same year. It has a total of 10 A330’s and an additional leased A330 4R-ALN from Sri Lankan Airlines which was received recently in June 2019. Apart from this, three other A330’s including the first A330 is leased. The airline maintains an average A330 fleet age of 7.8 years.
The 4 A330-200’s of the Omani fleet are all operated in a 2-class configuration, with 20 open-suite lie-flat seats in Business class and 196 standard Economy class seats. The A330-300’s are operated in 3-class configuration. It has 6 seats in First Class, 20 in Business class and 204 in Economy carrying a total of 230 passengers. The A330’s are operated all around Oman’s route map from short routes to long ones, from eastern destinations such as Bangkok and Jakarta to Western destinations such as London and Frankfurt. Mostly the use of A330’s on shorter routes depends on passenger loads too.
They have a satisfactory Economy Class, but their Business class has been praised by passengers for being very cheap and better worth than the money spent on it. The Business class has won awards in the past and still continues to be a flyer favorite budget business option.
BOEING 787 FAMILY.
Oman Air currently operates a total of 9 Boeing 787 aircraft in its fleet. Two of these are 787-8’s and 7 787-9’s with 3 more -9’s on order. The First Boeing 787-8 of the fleet, A4O-SA, was delivered on October 2015 followed by A4O-SB a month later. The 787-8 and the 787-9 are operated in 2 configurations. The 787-8’s both configurations are 2-Class. One of them has 18 Business Class seats and 249 Economy while the other has 30 Business seats and 204 economies. The 787-9 is operated in both 2 and 3 Class config. The 2-class version has 30 Business class seats and 258 Economy Class seats, while the 3 Class 787-9 has 8 First, 24 Business and 232 Economy class seats. Oman Air maintains an average 787 fleet age of 1.9 years.
The 787’s are pure medium-long haul operators for Oman Air and are rarely seen on shorter routes unless required due to increased traffic such as hajj (Muslim pilgrimage season) to Saudi Arabia. They are regular visitors to the UK, South East Asia, and European destinations. Passengers enjoy a 3-3-3 economy class layout in all 787 types. Business Class in one of the two -8’s is an open suite and in the other is a standard lie-flat seat in 2-2-2 configuration. The 3-class 789 has a 1-2-1 First class, a 2-2-2 Business Class and a 3-3-3 economy as mentioned above.
Overall Oman Air seems to be a decent Airline with new, well-maintained aircrafts, though problems have been created due to the MAX grounding and past problems with the 787 engine issues, Oman Air is an airline with strong competitor potential if it focuses on some lose points in soft and hard product on aircrafts like the A330.