Middle Eastern carrier Oman Air plans to launch a brand new first class product on its newest Airbus A330s, an industry consultant reveals.
Shashank Nigam, CEO of global airline marketing and branding consultancy SimpliFlying, says: "Oman Air is certainly differentiating itself from other airlines, especially its larger Middle Eastern cousins. A business class in which Kobe Bryant can sleep comfortably, and a soon to be launched first class that fits Shaquille O'Neal is quite a revelation. Oman Air is certainly looking to make a big splash, especially in the premium cabins. If they can match this with superior service, then it would make for a compelling offering."
Business Traveler reports that Oman will feature six seats in first class, and that the product will be unveiled shortly.
Oman Air CEO Peter Hill unveiled a new business class seat for its latest A330s during the ITB Berlin show in March of this year.
"Oman Air has just 20 seats fitted in its business class cabin, featuring a four abreast 1-2-1 layout which together with 17" video monitors gives an ambience and spaciousness that exceeds most of our competitor's first class offerings," says Oman in a statement.
"To deliver the last word in in-flight entertainment, Oman Air has selected the Thales i5000, which combined with the Rockwell Collins Tailwind 560 platform will provide Live TV, featuring news, sports and movie options to every seat on the aircraft."
Oman has a deal with OnAir to bring the Airbus/SITA joint venture's SwiftBroadband-supported 'Mobile OnAir' and 'Internet OnAir' solutions onboard the widebodies. The first A330 equipped with OnAir will be delivered in November, according to OnAir.
"Oman Air will be delivered with the service integrated with their Thales IFE," says an OnAir spokesman, noting: "We work with both Thales and Panasonic and can integrate with the IFE systems should the customer request it."