Oman Air (WY, Muscat) has announced plans to join the Oneworld alliance and has approached Qatar Airways to sponsor its application, Reuters has reported.

"As the industry recovers from COVID, airline alliances are going to be more important than ever. This will provide us with excellent global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our guests," the Omani state-owned carrier said.

Akbar al Baker, the Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group, has also held the post of the Chairman of Oneworld since May 2021.

Neither Oman Air nor Oneworld disclosed any tentative accession timeline.

Oneworld currently has 14 full airline members but including all subsidiaries and affiliates, its membership numbers 37 carriers. Besides Qatar Airways, other Middle Eastern and Northern African members include Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc (which joined the alliance in early 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 crisis). The last carrier to join Oneworld was Alaska Airlines, which became a member on March 31, 2021. The ch-aviation capacities module shows that all Oneworld members have scheduled nearly 9.1 million departure seats globally for the week starting September 27, 2021, with American Airlines, the alliance's largest carrier, responsible for almost half of this capacity. This renders Oneworld the smallest of the three main airline alliances behind Star Alliance (13.6 million scheduled seats) and Skyteam (11.7 million).

Among rival Gulf carriers, Saudia is a member of Skyteam, while Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, and Gulf Air remain unaffiliated with any of the three alliances.