MIAMI – Air Italy and Oman Air have signed a codesharing arrangement to offer customers enhanced connectivity between the Sultanate of Oman and seven major destinations in Italy.

This deal was somewhat expected. Air Italy, partly owned by Qatar Airways, will now be collaborating with Oman Air, which already has a standing codesharing arrangement with the Doha-based carrier.

Oman Air signed its agreement with Qatar Airways in December 2012, allowing its customers to book flights from 42 departure points within its network through Doha.

PHOTO: Fabrizio Capenti.

Commenting on the deal was Rossen Dimitrov, Air Italy’s Chief Operating Officer, who explained why this is such a significant opportunity for the carrier.

“The commencement of our partnership with Oman Air offers a fantastic new opportunity for passengers of both airlines. Air Italy’s customers can now experience the wonderful new destination of Muscat, Oman’s capital and the country’s amazing and unique landscapes and seascapes, from all over Italy via our hub in Malpensa.”

The agreement states that Air Italy’s “IG” code will be placed on Oman Air’s flights between Milan-Malpensa and Muscat.

On top of this, Oman Air will be putting its “WY” code on Air Italy flights between Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino, Naples, Cagliari, Palermo, Catania and Lamezia Terme.

Air Italy also added that the agreement will eventually expand onto the Oman Air code being implemented on its New York and Miami services, subject to governmental approval.

Also commenting on the announcement was Oman Air’s CEO Abdulaziz Al Raisi who also expressed pride over the news.

“We are proud and delighted with our new partnership with Air Italy. This codeshare agreement will make it so much easier for travellers from throughout Italy to visit our beautiful country of Oman. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all major Italian cities to come to our country to experience our renowned Omani hospitality.”

“At the same time, this opens up exciting new opportunities for Omanis who wish to enjoy seamless travel to Italy and enjoy its rich world of opportunities for vacations and business transactions,” Al Raisi said.

PHOTO: Brandon Farris

It remains clear that this partnership is focusing on the business-sector side of the market, especially with the significant business sector that is in Milan alone.

With the Middle-East being particularly significant in business, it comes as no surprise that Air Italy is trying to expand its branches in that area of the world.

If it can secure that customer base more significantly into Italy, then the share will rise more in its favor, which will mean more passenger numbers and consequently better revenues for the carrier. And with Qatar Airways on its side, that should be achieved with relative ease.