Oman Air CEO looking to double fleet within five years

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Oman Air's fleet could double in size within five years, according to chief executive Wayne Pearce.

Speaking to Flightglobal, Pearce says that the airline will embark on a study of its 10-year fleet network plan in August in order to establish requirements.

"There's a definite need to grow the size of the company," he says. "We'll be at 28 aircraft by the end of the year. We need to get to 50 in about five years."

Pearce, who was previously chief strategy and planning officer at Etihad Airways, believes that Oman Air must "re-assess" the size of its fleet because "an airline of 28 [aircraft] is just too small to develop the right sort of network".

The airline's focus will continue to be on increasing tourist numbers to the sultanate, but Pearce says his "clear view is that we have to be at a fleet like 50 to make it work. You start to get some critical mass advantages that you don't on a smaller scale".

In the shorter term, Pearce hopes to improve the airline's network by increasing the number of codeshare alliances. He says the Muscat-based carrier will announce approximately five new codeshares over the next few months.

"They tend to be within five hours flying range of where we are and they're in various stages of development, but I'm confident they'll all come off," he says.

Oman Air has three codeshare alliances with Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and BMI, though Pearce says the latter is under review due to its acquisition by IAG.

The Omani flag carrier currently has orders for six Boeing 787-8s, six 737-800s and two Embraer 175s. The Dreamliners were originally due to be leased from ALAFCO, but Oman Air took over the order slots in late 2011.