Oman Air threatens Boeing with starting talks with Airbus for a new aircraft deal


Muscat, Oman - Oman Air threatens Boeing with starting talks with Airbus if the American aircraft manufacturer doesn't come up with a satisfactory recovery plan before the Paris Air Show which will be held on 21-23 June.

Oman Air currently has five 737 MAX 8 in its fleet and further 25 copies are on order with Boeing. Like all Boeing 737 MAXs around the world, Oman Air's 737 MAX 8s have been grounded since March 10.

Oman Air complains about the revenue losses and decreasing market share, especially in the domestic market, due to its grounded 737 MAXs and delayed deliveries. The airline says it will begin talks with Airbus for an alternative aircraft type if Boeing does not fulfill its promise for a recovery plan before the Paris Air Show.

"If I don’t hear back from Boeing before I arrive at Le Bourget Airport, then I will have to go ahead with my planned business lunch with Airbus at the air show," Oman Air's CEO Abdulaziz Al Raisi said.

Al Raisi also said he was promised a support and recovery plan for Oman Air to be delivered before the Paris Airshow during a recent meeting with Boeing officials in Muscat.

Oman Air's fleet consists of narrow-body and wide-body planes from both Airbus and Boeing.

Airline operators around the world are striving with revenue losses due to their grounded and delayed 737 MAX jets during the peak summer season. Boeing is trying to cope with the compensation requests of these airlines by offering alternative solutions.

The Boeing 737 MAX is waiting for regulatory approval for its updated anti-stall software to return to service. The U.S. Federal Aviation Agency said last week it did not have a specific timeline for allowing the aircraft to resume flying, but it would be likely operational again before the year-end.

The anti-stall system of the aircraft, which is known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is believed to play a major role in both crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.



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