Oman Air Business Class

ROUTE: Heathrow to Muscat, OmanFIRST IMPRESSIONS: Let’s cut to the chase.

ROUTE: Heathrow to Muscat, Oman

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Let’s cut to the chase. This is a business class service that feels like first. Seats are in a one-two-one configuration, so there’s no need to clamber past a neighbouring sleeper – both of you clad in your free Oman Air pyjamas and snoozing under quilted blankets on your fully flat beds – to get to the bathroom. Here you can rifle through the contents of your massive amenity kit, a gold pouch full of Amouage – Oman’s premier perfume and cosmetic brand – toiletries. You’ll have dined a la carte watching your huge screen, maybe choosing from the audio video on demand, or perhaps something on live satellite TV. You can check your emails too – there’s both mobile and wifi connectivity.

THE FACTS: The 20 lie-flat business class seats are 77.5 inches long and 22 inches wide, with a pitch of 82 inches. The 17-inch touch-sensitive screens sit in the front partition above the buddy seat, and there are USB and ethernet sockets, and power points. Rather than the blue and gold of the airline’s logo, the livery of the cabin is a more muted collection of creams and beiges, and the crew are attired in rather natty Balenciaga-designed uniforms.Lounge-wise, options in Muscat and London are of a very high standard. The Business Class lounge in Muscat has a large buffet and dining area and a manned bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, a quiet lounge area, satellite TV, Wi-fi and a business centre, a children’s play room with movies and games, shower rooms with towels and toiletries, and soon complimentary 15 minute massages will be available in the spa.In Heathrow, passengers have complimentary use of the new No. 1 Traveller Lounge in Terminal 3. There’s a sweeping bar and a light, bright dining area with sleek white furniture where you can eat either from the buffet or order hot and cold dishes to be prepared. There’s a lounge area, family room, a games room with consoles and a table football table, and even a small cinema room. Wi-fi is free.

WOW: Awards don’t always mean much, but Oman Air has picked up an average of one international award per month over the last two years – a track record that it’s hard to ignore. These include Best Business Class Airline Seat in the World at the World Airline Awards last year, so you can be fairly secure in the knowledge your clients are in safe hands.

BACKGROUND: The last two and a half years have seen Oman Air transform from a small regional carrier to an award winning international airline. Seven new Airbus A330s – the aircraft used for the Heathrow-Muscat route – have been delivered, plus three new B737s.  Six B787 Dreamliners are expected from 2014, which will significantly enhance the airline’s long haul capability. The first two of five Embraer 175 arrived last year, flying routes within the Gulf.The route map is expanding as rapidly as the fleet, with 16 new destinations unveiled since October 2009.

HOW MUCH: Heathrow-Muscat fares from £1,714