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Oman Air to KUL


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#61 Hon Kit

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 03:43 PM

Oman Air is nice. They used to run SIN-KUL-SIN with a good deal. Sadly stopped not long after.

#62 Mohd Azizul Ramli

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 04:29 PM

TRANSIT IN MCT (MUSCAT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

Transit time was 2.5 hours. Saturday afternoon, 27/04/2019.

 

Oman Air has an amazing and beautiful hub. Flow of movement as a transit passenger: disembarkation from aircraft - centralised security screening to enter the airside departure level - another security screening at individual gate.

 

Random observations of MCT from my transit experience:

  1. As mentioned, the terminal is really beautiful and brand new, opened on 20/03/2018, so it is only 1 year old.
  2. A great emphasis in beautification - the arrival travellators are decorated with white stones and desert plants giving an illusion that I was walking through a wadi or an oasis. The terminal's main colour scheme are olive and dark wood. The terminal has 65 of these gorgeous Murena benches. https://archello.com...airport-in-oman Very artsy and looks very expensive. Toilet entrances are decorated with local artefacts (as in a museum display).
  3. When I was walking in the terminal, which is all glassed-wall, I could not help but noticed the beautiful landscape surrounding the airport - desert, mountains. Simply breathtaking. It definitely enticed me to clear immigration, go out and explore Oman. Probably someday.
  4. I read that the terminal's capacity is 20 million passengers per annum. Oman is a small country with total population of only around 5 million (and 50% of those are foreign workers!) so I took all these facts as a confirmation that that Oman Air and MCT are serious about being a contender for the transit market, just like the more established ME3.
  5. The terminal has a properly segregated shopping and gate areas. The duty free shopping area is located at the centre concourse of the terminal building where all the gate branches met. There is not a single duty free shop at the gate branches.
  6. There are a lot of local Omani women employed by the airport, mostly as gate agent. All seem to have a good command of English.
  7. There are a lot of Filipino queens employed as queue minder too.
  8. All security agents are local Omani men.
  9. I question the second security screening at the individual gate. From what I experienced, it took me about 10 minutes to get to the gate after clearing the centralised security screening and I was obviously so surprised to find yet another security screening waiting for me, so soon, inside the gate.
  10. The gate where my was flight was assigned (Gate B4) is spacious with a lot of seats.
  11. The entire MCT terminal is well air-conditioned. I did not feel a subpar aircond blast like in KUL or the worst of them all, BKK.
  12. The centralised security screening area is equipped with an automated tray retriever system so the security agents do not have to manually return the trays to the other side after each passenger's screening. This system is a notch more advanced than the one currently used at London Heathrow as the one in LHR still requires a manual tray input into the tray feeding area for the automated retrieving system to work.
  13. The terminal has dedicated and beautiful smoking lounges for smokers. I believe there is 1 smoking lounge at each gate branches.

 

Overall impression:

MCT is truly a beautiful facility and probably has just the right size for ease of navigation as compared to the gargantuan transit hubs of the neighbouring DXB, DOH or AUH. I gather someone who is not well versed with Oman Air or Muscat International Airport or Oman in general will be pleasantly shocked. In my opinion, apart from the second security screening inside the individual gate, this is a great transit facility and severely underrated.

 

Personal takeaways:

I lived in the neighbouring KSA from 2008-2011 so I am quite well versed with the employment culture. Seeing so many local Omani women working at the airport is a stark contrast to what I experienced in the KSA in 2011 where local women are not allowed/expected to work. I found the local Omani working at the airport to be friendly and not at all arrogant as their typical cousin next door, which I am accustomed to. This is my first trip to the region after leaving KSA in 2011 and it stirs a lot of emotions.



#63 Mushrif A

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:16 PM

That second security screening at the gate - is that for all gates or certain gates for flights to places like the UK, US etc?

 

Really odd to have two layers if you were heading back to KL from, say the UK. Contrast that with DOH, where you may not even need to go through security at all in DOH if transiting in DOH having arrived from, say, LHR and you are not bused to the DOH terminal from the aircraft.



#64 Mohd Azizul Ramli

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:59 PM

As a transit passenger, there are 3 main channels to follow - transfer to domestic flights, transfer to international flights and immigration clearance. I assume the transfer to international flights channel is applicable to all regardless of the destination and therefore the second security screening inside the gate is (allegedly) applicable to all international flights. I do not think it is done selectively to certain gates or destinations.

 

Gate B2, which is next to Gate B4 where my Oman Air aircraft to LHR was assigned, was at that time occupied by a Saudia A320. This could indicate that the gate branches are not assigned according to the region of destination too.

 

Whilst it could be a hassle having to go through a back-to-back security screenings within a short span of time, I guess the local authority is not taking any chance in regards to security issues. I have to point out that the second security screening inside the individual gate is more thorough (shoes have to be taken off and screened) as compared to the centralised security screening. The centralised security screening is similar to that in DXB.



#65 Mohd Azizul Ramli

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 03:47 AM

SECTOR 2 & FINAL: MCT-LHR

 

This sector was operated by a B789 (A4O-SG). The aircraft is brand new, just merely 6 months old. Flight time was 7.5 hours. Economy load factor was 100%.

 

 

Gate entry at MCT:

As mentioned previously, the aircraft was assigned at Gate B4 in MCT. At the gate, I first had to pass through a document check counter, which was manned by a local Omani female agent. This was followed by the gate checked in counter which was manned by another local Omani female agent. I then had to walk down a flight of stairs (like the G and H gates in KUL) and endure the already explained second security screening procedure.

 

Boarding:

Standard boarding procedure was implemented although a bit chaotic as it was handled by a solo male agent without the usage of a proper PA system.

 

Seat:

The Economy Seat is the latest version by Oman Air. Seat pitch is sadly at 31 inch (per SeatGuru) which as you probably can imagine, is tight. This seat is noticeably narrower too. It comes with a legrest though. Economy Class is configured in a 3-3-3 seat formation.

 

IFE:

The IFE is the latest version by Oman Air named ARIA. A cutting edge fully touch screen system. Very responsive and easy to navigate. The only downside is the flight map is not working on ARIA.

 

Meal:

1 lunch, 1 light meal service, 1 snack service with drinks runs in Economy. A menu card is distributed for the lunch service. Standard 2 options for the lunch. For the light meal, a snack box was given. It contained a muffin and a pastry. The snack service was a mixed maruku crackers, which is similar to the previous sector. Meal service is slower and drink runs are less frequent on this sector as compared the previous one due to, I suspect, the passengers' demographic, which is more challenging on this sector as compared to the previous one.

 

Amenity Kit:

No "Comfort Pack" for this sector, I reckon due to it being a daytime flight.

 

Cabin Crew:

Again a multi-racial crew but male majority. Most of the crew are local Omanis and this is a good looking and smiley bunch. The command of English is just outstanding. I can see that they worked really hard to satisfy the challenging crowd.

 

Passenger's Demography:

The majority of passengers on this flight was Indian travellers on group tours. My seatmates are 2 aunties from Kochi on a 2 week European trip. Their entourage alone is a strong 40 members.

 

Overall impression:

While the meals are good with a menu card and the cutting edge ARIA, I think it is the seat that makes or breaks a flight in Economy. Sadly this sector belongs to a flight where I could not wait for it to end due to the tight space despite how beautiful and modern the aircraft is. A winning Economy combination would be an ARIA on the B789 coupled with the older seat on the A333 but I guess one cannot have everything.



#66 jani

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:38 AM

Thanks for the reviews Azizul. Oman's airport is relatively new so surely one to visit/transit.

 

Need to read up Oman Air's Biz product. Seems the cheapest of the lot if traveling to LHR. What worries me, like your review, is the KUL-MCT leg where the aircraft might be a bit older.



#67 Mohd Azizul Ramli

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 01:01 PM

The new Business Class on Oman Air B789 looks very good. The old Business Class on the A333 is not too bad either and it is very big and spacious (it is the old Gulf Air's First Class, per Mushrif).

 

A point to note, Oman Air only have 1 FFP affiliation, which is their own called Sinbard and with Etihad.

 

I also would like to mention about their code share partners. In their inflight magazine, Oman Air listed down all their code share partners and MH is their biggest partner with the most number of code share flights and by number of destinations.



#68 Robert

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:19 PM

The new Business Class on Oman Air B789 looks very good. The old Business Class on the A333 is not too bad either and it is very big and spacious (it is the old Gulf Air's First Class, per Mushrif).

 

A point to note, Oman Air only have 1 FFP affiliation, which is their own called Sinbard and with Etihad.

 

I also would like to mention about their code share partners. In their inflight magazine, Oman Air listed down all their code share partners and MH is their biggest partner with the most number of code share flights and by number of destinations.

Last year had J fares to LHR for about MYR 7600 which was a very good price.






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