Archive | July 2012

Business Class seat named as best in the world again

Business Class Seat

Business Class Seat

Who says that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice? Oman Air has done it again and how?

Oman Air continues its march to success by winning the ‘Best Business Class Airline Seat’ at the prestigious World Airline Awards™, run by Skytrax. Oman Air is undisputed in this category as it was introduced for the first time last year when, just like this year, Oman Air came on top.

The ceremony was held at the UK’s Farnborough International Airshow 2012 on 12th July. Apart from taking the top prize in the ‘Best Business Class Airline Seat’, Oman Air was also nominated in a number of other categories and came second in the ‘ Best Airline Staff Service in Middle East’ and ‘Best First Class Catering’ categories and third in the ‘World’s Best Business Class’ category. In addition, top ten placing were achieved in the ‘Best First Class Airline Seat’ and ‘Best Business Class Airline Lounge’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’ categories. Clearly announcing the arrival of Oman Air in the big league of the airlines world.

The A330 Business Class seats, with its unparalleled comfort, space and luxury, customers have often mistaken it for First Class and there is a good reason why! It offers spacious and luxurious interiors, combined with state-of-the-art technology. The Business Class cabin offers 20 spacious seats fitted in a four-abreast, one-two-one configuration, ensuring that every passenger has direct aisle access. Each seat has a pitch of 82 inches and converts to a 77-inch long fully lie-flat bed. User-friendly seat controls, ample stowage space and a privacy screen combine with a large 17-inch inflight entertainment monitor, Ethernet and power sockets and Oman Air’s pioneering mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity to create the perfect Business Class environment.

True lie-flat seats with electronic seat controller and built in massager and extra stowage space can put many other airline’s First Class to shame. The service that follows once you are in your seat, such as, scented towels, fresh juice, vanity kit with the famous Amouage cosmetics and much more. Business Class passengers are treated to some of the finest food and refreshments that can be enjoyed in the sky.

So, what are you waiting for? Come have an experience which is a class above all!

What are the World Airline Awards? Well Skytrax introduced the World Airline Star Rating programme in 2000.  It is the Quality Analysis system that ranks airline product and service standards, based on professional evaluation conducted by in-house airline audit specialists.  It carries out a detailed analysis across more than 800 different areas of product and service delivery. Voted by over 18.8 million airline passengers from 100 different nationalities, the World Airline Awards are the most prestigious quality recognition of front-line produce and service standards for the world airline industry, with 200 airlines featured.

SWITZERLAND – Four languages in One!

Switzerland - Zurich

Switzerland – Zurich

Fancy being cool?  Well, why not head for the mountains and lakes of Switzerland?  And maybe throw in a bit of culture since several great musical events will be ongoing too in June, July and August.   Did you know that Switzerland has four languages – Swiss – German, French, Italian and Romansch, But, ‘no problem’ English is widely spoken too.

How to get there from Oman?  First of all the main international airport is Zurich.   Oman Air began its latest international service there in December 2011 and currently has four flights a week between Muscat and Zurich, so it’s easy to arrange a visit.

We expect that Zurich springs to your mind as being one of the world’s financial centres.    Well it does have the fourth largest stock exchange in the world.   Anyway, as well as being money-savvy, nowadays Zurich has a trendy nightlife and vibrant ‘clubland’ too.  And guess what?  Zurich now hosts the world’s largest annual street party – knocking the Notting Hill Carnival in England off its No.1 perch.  This parade, began in 1992, intended as ‘a demonstration in support of love, peace, freedom, generosity and tolerance’ with just 2,000 dancing at a few sound systems, but now it attracts half a million revellers.   It’s great fun so make a note that in 2012 the event starts on Saturday llth August.

Geneva – we all know it as being famous for its luxury watches!     But nearby, located on Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps is Montreux, which among other things, is famous for the annual Jazz Festival. Since it began in 1967 when it was a 3-day event, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become a stupendous 16-day affair, headlined by jazz, blues, rock, world-music, rap, electro, pop and soul.  Every year, up to 220,000 visitors come to Montreux in order to attend the concerts, inclusive of some free performances.

So what are the dates and who is appearing – the Festival kicks off on 29th June and continues until 14th July 2012.  The line-up schedules Bob Dylan, Herbie Hancock, Erykah Badu and Chris Cornell to name but a few of the acts who will take to the stage at this 46 edition this summer.

Want to see other sites too? Why not use Switzerland’s  excellent railway system and head for the following:

French-speaking Lausanne – the 5th largest town in Switzerland. It too lies on Lake Geneva. This town is characterized by its steep medieval streets. A gorge runs through the centre, so there are lots of covered bridges! A cogwheel railway (originally a funicular) links the lakeside with Europe’s highest railway station. A great ride and wow, it’s a cool view.

Lucerne – a lakeside town popular with the tourist.  Here one can a leisurely stroll through the old town, see iconic timber bridges, or take a relaxing cruise along the mountain-fringed lake. Incidentally, Lucerne is an important staging post on the route between Italy and northern Europe.

The old town of Neuchatel is attractive, with about 140 street fountains – yes, that’s right 140 – some of which date from the 16th century.  The centre of the old town is located at the top of the hill, accessed by the steeply winding Rue du Chateau. Near the chateau is the turreted Prison Tower, which is actually the remains of a medieval bastion. It has panoramic views over the town, along with interesting models of Neuchatel in different eras.

And last but not least – Switzerland offers plenty of cycling, walking and climbing opportunities too.

Visa information can be obtained by checking website www.bfm.admin.ch  and why not check out Oman Air’s holiday website: www.holidays.omanair.com for some good deals.

Bonjour! We’re away to visit Paris

Eiffel Tower

The mere mention of Paris immediately conjures up thoughts of the Eiffel Tower, the  Mona Lisa, the Moulin Rouge, the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe, markets, and doubtless others.  So where do we start?  We will first of all, try the website of Oman Air where you’ll see there are flights four times a week, so your trip could be for 2 weeks or more, or just a few days.

Summer in Paris – with temperatures ranging from a minimum of 13C and maximum of mid-20s – is the season of heady outdoor culture, and a major part is, of course, the summer festivals.  Beginning with  June:  don’t miss a one-day event on Thursday 2lst June in Paris, Nice and other cities – this is the Street Music Festival when 100s of musicians gather in the streets, bars and cafes, regaling crowds with free performances  of everything from jazz and rock to hip-hop and electronic music.

Meanwhile the Paris Jazz Festival, held in the beautiful Parc Floral, brings together jazz musicians from around the world for day and evening shows, so why not relax on the grass with a picnic.  In 2012 this event will be from the 9th of June to the 29th of July.

Next in July – Starting on Bastile Day (14th July) the month-long Paris Summer Arts Festival overtakes the streets of the city with (mostly free) dance, music, theatre and circus performances from artists living and working around the globe.

Next the decision where to head depends upon whether you have children in tow.

The Eiffel Tower is of course the global cultural icon of France.   Did you know that it is the most-visited paid monument in the world?  It was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair and stands at a height of 320 metres.  Why not combine this visit with an evening cruise on the River Seine and a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge.

The Mona Lisa – no trip to Paris is complete without seeing her enigmatic smile in the Louvre Museum, nor should a stroll among the outdoor markets is to be missed.  They sell everything from delicious cheeses, to a choice of wines from the vine-growing areas, and handicrafts made in the countryside.

If you have young kids with you, definitely the place to head for is the eastern part of the city, to Disneyland in the Maree La Vallee area.  However, for this we suggest you book in advance an all-inclusive ‘hotel and entrance’ deal for say 3 days/2 nights as there’s something for everyone and for every age e.g. parks, hotels a 9—hole golf course and Disney village with its unique entertainment area.

And last, but not least, if you have more time and fancy a trip out why not visit the Palace of Versailles with its magnificent gardens.

Some tips:

  • Visa:  If you’re a non EU passport holder, apply for a Schengen visa –this will entitle you to visit any one of 26 Schengen countries.  Visit the Embassy of the country which will be your main destination, ie the French Embassy in A’Sarooj, Qurm.
  • Credit cards are used widely, ATMs are frequent, but Euros is always useful for taxis, buses and tips.

Keen to go?  Why not have a look at www.omanairholidays.com.    They’re great value!  So for now, Bon Voyage!

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