Is Oman Air the best business class airline out there? According to World Airline awards, Oman Air has the best business class for 2012 followed by Cathay Pacific and Qatar Air. I recently flew from Paris to Bangkok on Oman Air via Muscat, Oman, and it was the best business class flight that I can remember flying.
Why did I like Oman Air?
Unlike many western airlines (Air France, United) that have a 2-3-2 configuration in business class (so one of the passengers has a middle seat even if they paid thousands of dollars for the ticket), Oman Air flies the A330 with a configuration of 1-2-1. That means every passenger has an uninterrupted access to the aisle, and the business class cabin is much quieter because there are fewer people.
The food is excellent, with a choice of Middle Eastern mezze and other offerings depending on the route flown: on the way to Bangkok, Thai food was served, while on the way to Paris it was French food. A nice touch was offering Turkish coffee and fresh dates prior to departure.
Seats lie flat, but are 77.5 inches (196.8 cm) long and 22 inches (55.8 cm) wide, so even a tall people can enjoy their sleep.
Flight attendants are multinational and on my flight were Thai, Omani, Filipino and Burmese attendants.
Connection in Muscat is fast and efficient, and the airline lounges in Muscat, Bangkok and Paris CDG are quiet and well stocked with food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), sweets and fresh fruit.
Oman Air lands in Paris CDG 2A which is a small terminal, so getting to and from the departure gate is quick with no queues in immigration (unlike the complicated Air France terminal at CDG which takes forever to navigate).
Why stop over in Oman?
Oman is an interesting place for a stopover, and flying on Oman Air on any class entitles you to a one free night in Muscat. Muscat airport undergoing though a significant upgrade. By 2014 one will enjoy a modern terminal that competes with Qatar and Dubai in amenities.
Most importantly, as Oman Air is not as established as other Gulf Airlines, so it runs very competitive promotions that make the premium one has to pay for business over economy worth it.