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Oman Air’s journey to become the best in association with

Oman Air’s journey to become the best

Written by Nell Walker Produced by Dennis Morales 3

Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Executive Vice President of Oman Air, is working hard to shine a spotlight on the company’s distinctive branding and its homeland


man Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, has established itself as an enviable enterprise since 1993. Rather than racing against the giants to become the biggest or most prosperous company, Oman Air puts its efforts into what counts most – excellent customer service and cementing a distinctive brand. Abdulaziz Al Raisi is the company’s Executive Vice President. He has brought his wealth of experiences in the airline sector to Oman Air: “Basically I am an aircraft engineer,” he says. “I did my apprenticeship with Air New Zealand in 1984. I stayed there for five years and trained as an aircraft engineer. Upon completion of my apprenticeship I came back to work with Oman Air, which was called Oman Aviation Services at that time. I started my career as an engineer and became a senior engineer before I moved up to managerial roles. “The company was rebranded as Oman Air in 1993 and began operating long haul services in 2007. I was part of the team which


worked on acquisition and development of our fleet, and customised almost everything. In 2010 I began assisting the CEO in running the company’s day-to-day affairs, which involved controlling the Supply Chain Management and Learning & Development Departments as well as Aircraft Acquisition. “I became the Executive Vice President for Products & Brand Development during the recent restructuring.” Al Raisi is now in charge of everything to do with guest experience, comprising inflight and lounge services, catering, and branding of the airline, including aircraft design and interiors. Much of the company’s image is in Al Raisi’s hands and he is committed to increasing guest trust and growing as a unique brand. As Al Raisi says, “Oman has a very rich culture and a time-honoured heritage,” and he wants


“We are immensely proud of being the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman and we make an important contribution to our nation” – Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Executive Vice President the Oman Air aircraft to represent that. In order to ensure that the interiors of the aircraft reflect Omani culture with traditional patterns and colour schemes, Oman Air works with reputed designers, and the company considers this as integral to its branding. “Our aim is that any guest who flies on board our aircraft from any destination to Oman Air’s home base of Muscat feels that

they are going to a place which is really unique and fascinating.” In addition to the regular launch of new routes, Oman Air is getting involved in codeshare agreements with other leading airlines in order to provide connections, with the added advantage of increasing traffic to Oman. Oman Air is keen for the Sultanate to be seen as a

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In less than a century, Boeing took the world from seaplanes to spaceplanes, across the universe and beyond. If you thought that was amazing, just wait.

tourist destination, and while it doesn’t aim to compete with regional airlines, it believes that it has a great role to play in showcasing Oman and introducing guests to this beautiful nation by offering the easiest possible connections. The company has grown steadily and contributed around 440 million Omani Rials to the national economy in the last year alone. “Currently our fleet is 45 aircraft and we are expanding further,” Al Raisi says. “We have many aircraft awaiting delivery from Boeing and we are growing at a steady, sustainable rate, bringing tourist business to the capital as we go.” Alongside his many other responsibilities, Al Raisi leads the design aspect of each aircraft which is a huge task. Oman Air is currently working on a new set of first class and business class seats created in Miami to unique specifications, proving its dedication to how the company represents itself. “When it comes to our products, we don’t compromise,”

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Which aircraft best combines comfort with efficiency?

It’s undoubtedly the A350 XWB. Offering 18ʺ wide seats as standard in economy, along with a 25% step change in fuel efficiency and a 25% lower seat-mile cost, it has unrivalled low operating costs. The best bit? It’s already in the air.

Airbus is the answer.

“We are focused on a process of continual improvement in the passenger experience” – Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Executive Vice President


Al Raisi says. “We make sure guest experience and we don’t that whatever we do is the best, benchmark ourselves against any irrespective of the size of aircraft.” of our competitors. Having said This attitude also extends to that, the competition for guests’ technology. In 2009, Oman Air was attention is huge, and we put a lot of the first airline to have line-fit Wi-Fi money into improving our products connectivity on its Airbus A330s: and services. While bigger airlines “We were the leaders in technology are cutting costs we’re investing.” and today, all our A330s are By not clashing with the fully fitted with internet bigger players in the and mobile phone. Our market, Oman Air is Dreamliners are also able to continue fully connected. carving out its Once you are niche as a highon-board, you can be quality service totally in touch with provider with an The year Oman Air the rest of the world, outstanding guest was founded with touch screens and experience and top all the latest Apps and guest relations - and gadgets available on-board.” it retains its own specific Al Raisi considers that the growth tactic. While it is not yet company’s best achievements thinking about expansions into are those which benefit the guest huge markets such as Australia most. Oman Air has won awards or the US, Al Raisi is open to the for excellent customer guest concept a few years down the line. service, and its seats themselves Having become well-established have achieved accolades too. in the Middle Eastern, European “We are focussed on a process and South East Asian markets, of continual improvement in the Oman is now being promoted as


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an attractive prospect in China. There has already been a good level of market interest from there; Oman Air is strategic in its business decisions, making intelligent choices rather than aggressively dominating. As well as becoming involved with China, Oman Air’s immediate plans include the building of new Airport Lounges at Muscat which will reflect the level of superiority the airline prides itself on: “These will be totally new airport lounges, within a totally new airport. They include a huge first class lounge and business class lounge belonging to Oman Air. There will be another lounge at the arrival hall. Our current airport is very small; it was built back in 1973 and easily gets congested. The new


Airport will be opened next year which will allow passengers better comfort during the entire process. “We are immensely proud of being the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman and we make an important contribution to our nation. We make a significant economic contribution, we fly our flag around the world and we express the Omani culture in everything we do. In addition, we operate to the highest possible standards throughout the company and our commitment to quality is reflected in our cabins, catering, and branding services. We have received numerous awards and have been assessed as an Official Four-Star Airline, but we will not rest until we become the best.”

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Muscat Oman 00 968 24 531111

Omanair brochure - November 2016