B742
Topic Author
Posts: 3562
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:54 pm



Oman Air - WY905



Muscat International Airport, Oman to London Gatwick International Airport, England



Aircraft: Airbus A310-304
Registration: CS-TEX (Old Scheme)
Configuration: 18J, 176Y (194CY)
Seat: 2A, Business Class
Flight Time: 8h 20m
Distance: 435 miles
Departure TIme: 16:00
Arrival Time: 20:30
Flight Load: ~80%


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Photo © Pawarin Prapukdee
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Photo © A J Best



Background
After spending a lovely few days visiting friends in Muscat, it was now time to head back to London and back to work.  Sad

We had arrived from Gatwick a few days earlier in the early hours, note that the flight now operates into Heathrow with completety different flight times. I had spent most of my time relaxing and visiting the local areas around Muscat. Muscat is a lovely city and much quieter than some of the other Gulf cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. Muscat is a similar size to Doha, but much less developed and it still retains it's strong and interesting history. Muscat is of course...very hot at this time of the year!

A few photos of Muscat...























Pre-Flight
My flight back to London was due to leave during the afternoon at 4PM local time from Muscat Airport (formally known as Seeb up until Feb 2008). The airport is around 20km from Muscat itself and slightly more to the Old Muscat. Muscat Airport isn't the biggest in the region, but is slowly growing.

Carriers serving Muscat include: (Long Haul Operators = *)
Air India
Air India Express
Air Blue
Biman
British Airways*
Egyptair
Emirates
Etihad Airways
Gulf Air
Iran Aseman Airways
Jet Airways
KLM*
Kuwait Airways
Lufthansa*
Oman Air*
Pakistan International Airlines
Qatar Airways
Royal Jordanian
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Shaheen Air International
Sri Lankan Airlines
Swiss International*
Thai Airways*
Turkish Airlines

Muscat Airport is managed by 'Oman Airports Management Company' and has two runways. However only one is used and is currently 11,775ft long. The largest passenger aircraft that the airport sees is the Boeing 777. Muscat also sees the A340 and A330.

Advert for London flights. (note it advertises the A330 and not the A310s)
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x182/B742/guards-ad.jpg

My friend picked me up and took my to the Airport in time for checkin. The terminal is very basic and quite small. Oman Air have seperate check in desks for Business Class passengers. I was the only person in the line so I was checked in strait away by a lovely South-East Asian woman. There isn't much to do in the airport, so I browsed the shops before heading to the Oman Air lounge.

I was quite suprised to see that shops inside the airport sold 'copied' versions of PS2 games. I decided to purchase Grand Turismo 4 as it was quite cheap. I also purchased an AC Milan Shirt in Muscat City with Kaka on the back. (Thank goodness he didn't go to Manchester City!)

I made my way to the lounge, which was fairly basic and averagely busy with most people heading to London. There was various snacks and hot food available in the lounge. The lounge was pleasant, however nothing compared to other airline lounges such as Vigin's Clubhouse at Heathrow.

Soon enough It was time to head to the gate after being informed politely by the lounge staff. There are no aerobridges here at Muscat so passengers have to be bussed to the aircraft. Upon reaching the gate I boared an air-conditioned bus which took me directly to the aircraft before the Economy Class passengers.

The aircraft was clearly visible as it was the only A310 on the ramp. We passed several company aircraft on our way.

Oman Air 737-800 in the new colours, note eye-brow-less


I love the Gulf scene...


Our aircraft, CS-TEX


Tail view with Economy passengers boarding through the rear door.






I think the A310 is a lovely looking machine...











The A310 operating today's flight was CS-TEX, which previously was operated and deleived to TAP Air Portugal. This aircraft first flew in 1990, so was quite new compared to other A310s flying around. The aircraft was named 'João XXI' whilst it was flown by TAP. The aicraft was replaced by newer A330s and it was taken up by HiFly which was later leased to Oman Air to operate Bangkok and London flights from the Muscat Hub.

Quite a cool video of CS-TEX on it's TAP days:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0bPc8Pd5VTg


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Photo © Ignatiy Savranskiy - Russian AviaPhoto Team
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Photo © Pedro Almeida



Was quite strange seeing this aircraft at Muscat having seen it quite often in Porto, Portugal.

Upon entering the aicraft we were welcomed by the crew. A lovely Asian woman directed me to my seat and asked I wanted a drink before take off. I asked for a orange juice to which she promptly delivered. I was sat in seat 2A. The aircraft still featured the seats from it's TAP Air Portugal days. Nevertheless the seats were still comfortable and were ample for an 8 hour flight back to the UK. The crew also handed out menu's for the flight aswell as amenity kits. The kits included pajamas, slippers, eye masks, toothbrush & toothpaste, mouthwash, fragrence, moisteriser and a few other bits and bobs. All were presented in a leather Oman Air engraved blue carrier which I was impressed by.

Soon after the doors were shut and the aircraft was ready to push-back. The airport was very quiet at this time of day so there was limited traffic and none affecting our departure other than a company 737 landing.

Is this a Cobus 3000?


Another 737-800 in the new colours




WY ATR-42 and 737-700


Passenger terminal


Military hangers and Hercules


USAF C-17


The crew performed the safety demonstration whilst taxiing which was announced in both Arabic and English.

Safety video here on-board a 737...
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MqYnws2RSG4

Soon after the captain announced we would be taking off and that the crew should be seated immediatly. We turned onto the active runway and roared off to the North.







Clear blue skies...






Over Iran...the sun was beggning to set by now.


Business Class Cabin


Economy Class Cabin


We were served a main meal and a snack aboard todays flight. I will post a picture of the menu once I have found it in my house  Smile


Arrival

Soon enough after I had woken up from my sleep, it was time to decend into London's Gatwick Airport. For those of you who don't know where Gatwick is; LGW it is located South of London in Crawley. (Heathrow is West and Stansted is North-East)

We made a seires of loops across London before finally coming to a touchdown ahead of schedule on UK soil. It was a short taxi from the runway to the terminal due to the lack of aicraft movements at this hour.

Sorry about the lack of arrival photos. It was very dark outside and there was little activity at London Gatwick at this time.

Verdict
Oman Air is a new and upcoming long haul carrier. So far doing a good job for Business Class passengers. I was very pleased with my flights, although I didnt have the highest expectations for these flights. However they do need to improve their product and aircraft (which is happening this year). The A330s will arrive this year and will be put onto the London and Bangkok routings whilst the A310s are given back to HiFly. Will be interesting to see what the cabins will look like once the new aircraft arrive. I will be flying back to Muscat later this year and hopefuly I will fly the new A330s. Oman Air is also in talks with Jet Airways to lease some aircraft. A very exciting future is ahead for Oman Air, they just need to make sure they don't expand too fast and loose their high standards.

Thanks for viewing. I just have to say, quick apologies for the qualities of the photos. I didn't have my Cannon 300D with me at the time.

Next trip report is Bristol - Porto - Bristol with Ryanair.

Feel free to view my Airliner videos on YouTube:
http://uk.youtube.com/user/robirving17

Previous Trip Reports:
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/106609

EVA Air - London To Bangkok - 773ER (Pics/Vids) (by B742 Aug 12 2007 in Trip Reports)
American Airlines - Miami To New York JFK (Pics) (by B742 Jan 14 2007 in Trip Reports)
American Airlines - Boston To Miami (Pics/Vids) (by B742 Jan 12 2007 in Trip Reports)
American Airlines - London To Boston (Pics/Vids) (by B742 Jan 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Airlines - KUL-KUA-KUL - 734 (Pics) (by B742 Aug 14 2006 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Airlines - LHR-KUL - B747-400 (Many Pics) (by B742 Aug 12 2006 in Trip Reports)
RAF VC10 Tour - Many Pics And Info Included (by B742 Jun 24 2006 in Trip Reports)
Air India ~ 744 ~ LHR-JFK-LHR +Spotting (Pics) (by B742 May 14 2005 in Trip Reports)
LGW-SSH-LGW - BY - 763 + SSH & LGW Spotting (Pics) (by B742 Apr 26 2005 in Trip Reports)

Rob!  wave 
 
Atlwest1
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:11 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:05 pm

Awesome report from a country and airline rarely reported on. Looks like it might be a good option to use to the Middle East region.  Smile
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
 
elevate
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:52 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:53 pm

A great report (and pictures) of an airline we really don't see enough of!

Their 737 livery is stunning...


Sam
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:12 pm

Thanks for this nice report, Muscat is definitely a place I hope to be able to visit in the near future.
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21113
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:26 pm

Excellent. I have seen Oman Air in London and wondered what they were like. When I was at the travel market I picked up some things from them including a lovely Mug.

Id love to see Oman oneday and your pics were wonderful.

Thanks for showing us

OA260
 
ojas
Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:41 pm

Superb B742,

Thanks for bringing out an uncommon TR. I had seen this aircraft in BKK and was wondering how they do on their London routes.

Thanks for the pictures of Muscat as well, very beautiful. Too bad you could not sneak a picture of the terminal. I assume it was difficult.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
Gr8Circle
Posts: 2387
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:44 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:06 pm

Very interesting (and nostalgia evoking) TR...  smile 

Are there any plans for expanding the terminal at MCT, adding aerobridges, etc...? I know they have a lot of space on either side, for expansion.....

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
Muscat Airport is managed by 'Oman Airports Management Company' and has two runways. However only one is used and is currently 11,775ft long.

Where is the 2nd runway? I always thought there's only the one main runway, with the E-W orientation (don't remember the headings).....

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
The airport is around 20km from Muscat itself and slightly more to the Old Muscat.

Actually, the old Muscat city is on the opposite side of the downtown Muscat area, away from the airport.....MCT is close to the town of Seeb....
 
N104UA
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:27 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:44 pm



Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
Distance: 435 miles

???
"Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly." -H.H. The Dalai Lama
 
Elal772
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:25 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:39 pm

very nice report!

The interior of their A310 looks well maintained!
The desert scenary around reminds of Eilat/Aqaba or maybe Amman.

Do Europeans like Muscat as a tourist destination?
 
pnwjet
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:37 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:53 pm

Nice report and photos. Do you have a photo of the amenity kit and contents...sounds like a pretty impressive presentation
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8151
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:23 pm

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Will be interesting to see their new J cabin when the A330's arrive.

Regards

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
ixemctdca
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:21 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:32 am

Nice to see a TR from a former home base!

Loved the pictures from around the city!
-ixemctdca
 
XA744
Posts: 630
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:40 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:22 pm

Rob, thank you so very much for having brought me to a wonderful close encounter with the Kingdom, Muscat and Oman Air...

Beautiful and unforgettable trip report !!!

Best regards
No matter how you fly...just never get your wings clipped !
 
directorguy
Posts: 1050
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:46 pm

Lovely trip report for what is the Gulf's 'lesser' aircraft-Oman can be quite left behind with the bigger city-states stealing the spotlight.
Thanks a lot.
Wonder if the Omani government has 'plans' to make Oman Air a big airline.
 
PKflyer
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:53 pm

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:36 pm

A very well compelled Trip Report with some beautfiul pictures. Thanks for sharing

Its nice to see the lesser airlines' Trip Reports. Seems as though you enjoyed your experience.  Smile

Kind Regards
Arslaan
My name is Khalid and NO I am not a bloody terrorist!
 
B742
Topic Author
Posts: 3562
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:30 am



Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 1):
Awesome report from a country and airline rarely reported on. Looks like it might be a good option to use to the Middle East region.

Thanks for the reply. I think once the new equipment is added, then we will se a vast improvement with Oman Air.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 2):
A great report (and pictures) of an airline we really don't see enough of!

Thanks Elevate.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 2):
Their 737 livery is stunning...

I much prefer the older livery.

Quoting Levent (Reply 3):
Thanks for this nice report, Muscat is definitely a place I hope to be able to visit in the near future

Thanks Levent. Muscat is a lovely city, and not too commericalised like other Gulf cities. (Yet anyway)

Quoting OA260 (Reply 4):
Excellent. I have seen Oman Air in London and wondered what they were like. When I was at the travel market I picked up some things from them including a lovely Mug.

Id love to see Oman oneday and your pics were wonderful.

Thanks for showing us

Thanks OA260, I'm a great fan of your trip reports.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 5):
Superb B742,

Thanks for bringing out an uncommon TR. I had seen this aircraft in BKK and was wondering how they do on their London routes.

Thanks for the pictures of Muscat as well, very beautiful. Too bad you could not sneak a picture of the terminal. I assume it was difficult

Thanks Ojas, I will try and get some photos of the terminal when I go back to Muscat later this year  Smile

Quoting Gr8circle (Reply 6):
Very interesting (and nostalgia evoking) TR...

Are there any plans for expanding the terminal at MCT, adding aerobridges, etc...? I know they have a lot of space on either side, for expansion.....

Yeah there are plans in place. They include a new terminal and a new runway, both able to handle the A380. A new control tower is included, aswell as 32 aerobridges. A new cargo terminal and parking areas will be included. Construction is due to bein in Q1 2009 (so around now).

Quoting Gr8circle (Reply 6):
Where is the 2nd runway? I always thought there's only the one main runway, with the E-W orientation (don't remember the headings)....

It's only 750m long and it is a soil runway. Barely counts as a second runway to be honest.

Quoting Gr8circle (Reply 6):
Actually, the old Muscat city is on the opposite side of the downtown Muscat area, away from the airport.....MCT is close to the town of Seeb....

Sorry I should have said it was around 20km from where I was staying and 30km from Old Muscat.

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 8):
very nice report!

The interior of their A310 looks well maintained!
The desert scenary around reminds of Eilat/Aqaba or maybe Amman.

Do Europeans like Muscat as a tourist destination?

Thanks.

Aqaba and Eilat are lovely places and it does kind of remind me of the North Red Sea area.

Well Lufthansa have announced Daily flights into Muscat (via Bahrain or Abu Dhabi)

Oman offers alot of things that neighbouring Gulf countries don't, so Tourism is on the rise.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10):
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Will be interesting to see their new J cabin when the A330's arrive.

Regards

Mark

Thanks Mark.

Yeah I'm looking forward to flying to Muscat later this year on them. I will post a TR.

Quoting IXEMCTDCA (Reply 11):
Nice to see a TR from a former home base!

Loved the pictures from around the city

Thanks. Did you enjoy tour time in Oman?

Quoting XA744 (Reply 12):



Quoting XA744 (Reply 12):
Rob, thank you so very much for having brought me to a wonderful close encounter with the Kingdom, Muscat and Oman Air...

Beautiful and unforgettable trip report !!!

Thanks XA744. Hope you can visit some day.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 13):
Lovely trip report for what is the Gulf's 'lesser' aircraft-Oman can be quite left behind with the bigger city-states stealing the spotlight.
Thanks a lot.
Wonder if the Omani government has 'plans' to make Oman Air a big airline

Thanks. Yeah they are slowly becoming a larger airline. However not on the capacity of nearby EY/EK/QR.

Quoting PKflyer (Reply 14):
A very well compelled Trip Report with some beautfiul pictures. Thanks for sharing

Its nice to see the lesser airlines' Trip Reports. Seems as though you enjoyed your experience

Thanks PKflyer.  Smile

Rob!  wave 
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi Rob,

very entertaining report about a rare carrier with nice pictures from Muscat.

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
I think the A310 is a lovely looking machine...

No doubts about that!

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
The A330s will arrive this year and will be put onto the London and Bangkok routings whilst the A310s are given back to HiFly.

Will be interesting to see whether it can match the competition in the region with the A330.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Muscat - London ~ Onboard Oman Air (w/Pics)

Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:08 pm

Just wanted to add to the chorus of people commending on you an excellent TR. I love unique reports - and WY is certainly one of them. Thanks a lot. It will sure be interesting to see how they position themselves in an increasingly crowded GCC market.

Saludos,
A.
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