Oman Air is in discussions with Embraer and Bombardier over the possible addition of regional jets to support the development of domestic air routes within the sultanate.
At the start of the year the Omani Government included funds in its 2008 budget to help develop six regional airports, alongside its two main centres at Muscat and Salalah, as part of a drive to boost tourism.
"In the next few years, there will almost certainly be the development of local services within Oman to link some of the major tourism sites," explains Oman Air chief executive Peter Hill.
Although the carrier has largely withdrawn the ATR turboprops its used for regional services, Hill says the carrier is studying the acquisition of new regional jets.
"We are in negotiations with Bombardier and Embraer at the moment to see who is going to be the chosen one," he says. "We are looking at four or five aircraft to start with, the time frame would be around 2011 or 2012."
Oman Air's short-haul and regional services are currently served with Boeing 737-700/800s.
It has also started branching back into long-haul operations, initially through leasing agreements for Boeing 767 and Airbus A310 aircraft ahead of the introduction of Airbus A330s next year.
Oman Air has seven A330s on order and also has an agreement to acquire six Boeing 787s.