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Oman Air is cautious about joining an airline alliance due to perceptions of standards, Philippe Georgiou, the airline’s chief officer for corporate affairs has admitted.
Speaking to ABTN at the World Travel Market (WTM) he said: “We are open to the idea but we want to make sure that all airlines within our alliance have the same standard.
“Maybe one day they will come up with a luxury airline alliance and we could join that.”
The airline aims to be recognised for its premium offering, in particular by business travellers – a strategy also followed by rival Gulf carriers Etihad and Emirates.
However, Oman Air differs from its larger Middle Eastern rivals in that it does not seek to promote its Muscat hub as a point of transfer.
Georgiou said the airline wants to see visitors retained in Oman, so they can sample what the country has to offer.
“Other airlines in the neighbourhood consider their hub as just a transit point for passengers to go through and continue,” he said. “We are very much a niche airline.”