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Tuesday 19 July 2022

The verdict on Oman Air is mixed

Oman Air is the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman but has a much lower profile than fellow Middle East carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

Based at Muscat International Airport it operates domestic and international passenger services.

Oman Air hit the headlines a few weeks back when it was announced that Oman Air will be joining the Oneworld alliance from 2024.

It clearly has some work to do before then.

Through some complicated circumstances I found myself flying Oman Air last week from Milan to Muscat and then Muscat to Bangkok.

Both flights were close to full but departed and arrived on time and my baggage was delivered - which is a blessing nowadays.

Service, however, was perfunctory at best - nothing like the quality of its Middle Eastern counterparts.

Even the simplest request for a soft drink somehow turned into a hassle.

The wifi costs are exorbitant, should you wish to do some work during your flight, and the entertainment program extremely limited. I was not given headphones for my second Boeing 737 leg.

The food is uninspired but edible - the lamb kofta with rice on the first leg was tasty and the panna cotta fine, but a "fish with rice" on the second leg was dry and uninspired.

Alcoholic beverages are only available on long-haul international flights but alcohol is not served inflight during the Ramadan season or on inter-Middle East flights

Oman Air appears to attract an undisciplined crowd. Several people of my flights sat in the wrong seats and were reluctant to move. Another wanted to use the toilet before take-off.

The crew response was half-hearted, to say the least and no effort was made to stop passengers from fully reclining their seats during meal service.

A pretty mixed bag, then. From the evidence of my two flights in economy, Oman Air is basically a low-cost carrier.

Still, it's cheap - and you get what you pay for.

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