Oman Air officials may confirm during the Dubai Air Show whether it will still take the six Boeing 787s it is supposed to be leasing from Aviation Lease and Finance Co. (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier has been in negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.
But during a press visit to its Muscat headquarters in mid-October, the airline’s management indicated that it would not be ready to confirm its intentions for the 787 for up to another month. At the time, Oman Air declined to be specific about its plans for the 787 as it awaits the appointment of a new CEO to replace Peter Hill, who retires at the end of the year after being with the airline since its was founded in 1993.
Delivery of Oman Air’s first aircraft had been set for 2012, 2014 and 2015, but arrival of the first 787 has now been put back to the second half of 2014. Other airlines in the region that have ordered the 787 have also expressed concerns over losses caused by the long delays to the program.
Oman Air currently operates seven Airbus A330-200/300s, 15 Boeing 737NGs and two ATR42 turboprops. It received the first of five Embraer 175 E-Jets in March, and holds options for five more. Philippe Georgiou, chief officer for corporate affairs, said the airline is two years into its five-year plan. “We’re on course for break-even in 2013 or 2014,” he said. New destinations include Zurich first, then Moscow, with further European destinations planned, he added.