After placing an initial order for six Boeing 787-8s in November 2011, Oman Air received its first Dreamliner on October 12th, 2011. The acquisition of the Dreamliner would fuel the carrier’s expansion plans, offering Oman Air the ability to fly further with lower emissions. Let’s take a look back at the delivery of this first aircraft six years ago and how that has changed the airline’s fleet since.
Six years ago tomorrow
With the publication of this article on October 11th, tomorrow will mark precisely six years since Oman Air celebrated the delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a wet and rainy day in Everett, Washington.
“We are delighted to receive our first Dreamliner which combined with Oman Air’s award-winning service will provide an excellent travel experience for our customers…” -Paul Gregorowitsch, Chief Executive Officer, Oman Air
Adding to Gregorowitsch’s remarks, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO at the time, Ray Conner, noted that Boeing was proud to have Oman Air join its growing base of 787 customers in the Middle East and around the world. “Our partnership with Oman Air dates back almost 15 years, during which time the airline has been operating the 737 family. We’re delighted to help introduce Boeing twin-aisle airplanes into its growing fleet.”
Beyond the aircraft order, Boeing was also contracted by Oman Air for “a suite of services” to support the upcoming entry into service of its 787s. This would also ensure ongoing efficiency and cost savings for its fleet, helping to “minimize the time and cost of maintenance while increasing airplane availability.”
Just two of six 787-8s?
As noted in Boeing’s statement on its first 787 delivery to Oman Air, the airline had ordered six 787-8s in November 2011 as part of its expansion plans. However, data from ch-aviation.com notes that the Middle Eastern carrier has just two 787-8s now. Why is this?
Despite clear documentation that six -8s were ordered, it wasn’t easy to find evidence that an order swap occurred. However, looking at Oman Air’s fleet composition now, it’s evident that an order adjustment was made sometime in the past six years.
The carrier currently has two 787-8s and seven 787-9s in its fleet. Of all of the airline’s current and future 787s, we could only find one 787-9 officially ordered by Oman Air. Registered A4O-SK, ch-aviation.com states that this aircraft has yet to be delivered, with RadarBox.com showing that its most recent flight was at the beginning of September, from Charleston, South Carolina, to San Antonio, Texas. Clearly, a retroactive order swap, among other things, took place as data notes that this 787-9 was “ordered in 2011.”
Oman Air’s 787 history gets even more interesting when you discover that it used to have an additional two 787-8s. Operated by the carrier between 2016 and 2019, these two Dreamliners were leased to Oman Air from Kenya Airways. Registered at the time as A4O-SY and A4O-SZ, both jets have gone back to the African airline as 5Y-KZH and 5Y-KZJ, respectively.
All of the airline’s current 787-9s appear to be leases from firms such as ILFC, Air Lease Corporation, AerCap, and others.
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Oman Air had announced in 2015 that it would deploy its first Dreamliner on services to Saudi Arabia and Europe. In late April of 2017, the airline operated its first 787-9 to Paris.
Now, in the midst of a global health crisis, the airline has deployed its Dreamliners to destinations like London, Milan, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. Shorter services include flights from Muscat to Dhaka and Riyadh. Oman Air’s Airbus A330s handle its remaining long-haul destinations.
Have you flown on Oman Air’s 787s yet? Let us know in the comments.