By Staff writer
Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX has resulted in Omani national carrier having to cancel hundreds of flights every month
Oman Air has no plans to cancel any of its order of 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing, but is negotiating compensation from the US planemaker after the aircraft was grounded by authorities in March 2019 following two fatal crashes.
Following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in March, Oman Air grounded its current fleet of Max aircraft, leading to the cancellation of hundreds of flights every month.
The Sultanate’s national carrier currently has five 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet and had been due to receive another none in 2019 before the global grounding of all aircraft. It currently has another 25 on order and Mustafa al Hinai, CEO of parent company Oman Aviation Group (OAG), told Business Insider in an interview the airline had no plans to cancel the order.
“With Boeing, our relationship is going to continue as it is; there is no change in our relationship,” he said in an interview this month.
“Boeing is a very strategic partner of OAG… We ordered 30 aircraft – we’ve received some, and the rest are still to come,” he added.
Turkish Airlines, one of the biggest customers for the 737 Max, with 24 grounded and 75 more on order, announced in late December last year it had been awarded financial compensation from Boeing and Al Hinai said Oman Air is aiming to secure a similar deal.
“I think Boeing is going to come out with a fair proposal to us,” he said.
In the interview, Oman Air’s CEO Abdulaziz al Raisi said the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft had dented the airline’s financial results for the year and, as a result, it’s expansion plans in 2019 and 2020 had been put on hold.