60 Seconds with Ajit Waghe, Assistant Manager Loyalty Programmes, Oman Air

60 Seconds with Ajit Waghe, Assistant Manager Loyalty Programmes, Oman Air

InsideFlyer
Sindbad will be five years old in 2011. Are you planning on doing anything special for the program’s fifth anniversary?
Ajit Waghe
Sindbad is a customer oriented frequent flyer program and our objective is to offer our existing and potential members a world class loyalty program that ensures Oman Air is, and will always remain, the airline of first choice for them. To celebrate our fifth anniversary we have planned a special promotion to express our gratitude to our valuable members. As a part of this promotion, every Sindbad member who earns 5,000 Sindbad miles will be given 500 Sindbad miles as a bonus. Thereafter, every block of 5,000 Sindbad Miles earned will also qualify for bonus miles. This promotion is designed to generously reward members, acknowledge their support and thank them for their loyalty to Oman Air. In addition to this there are several other promotions, enhancements and partnerships planned for the year 2011. To name a few initiatives, we will soon be launching a member-get-member scheme whereby the new member and existing member both receive miles, an online redemption option and an on-board electronic enrollment through the in-flight entertainment system.

IF
Sindbad regularly extends bonus offers for members. Can you tell us about a couple of current offers?
Waghe
double miles for flights between Muscat and Milan during a promotional period. We will continue with our ongoing promotions, for example, the Web Booking promotion through which members who book tickets online from the Oman Air Web site and fly thereafter earn 500 Sindbad miles per sector in economy class and 1,000 Sindbad miles per sector in business class.

IF
Can you tell us a little about the Sindbad family program?
Waghe
The Family Program is one of the more popular features of the Sindbad program as it allows nomination of up to eight family members. Every adult family member flying on Oman Air earns 100 percent of the applicable miles, which are credited directly to the family head’s membership account. The Family Program allows members to pool all the family miles into one account thereby guaranteeing the entire family’s involvement in the program. It also reinforces the Arabic culture of large, close knit families.

IF
You currently partner with Etihad Airways and Gulf Air. Any other new partners in the works?
Waghe
When it comes to partnerships, we choose to tie-up with high quality product and service providers who have significant presence in Oman Air markets. Partnership agreements are based on the partners’ ability to complement Oman Air and the Sindbad brand personality and the relevance to our members’ profile. Airline partnerships provide wider miles earning and redeeming opportunities to our members. We are exploring partnership possibilities with two major international airlines in Asia and we hope to announce this shortly. Bank partnerships offer higher mileage earning opportunities as members can earn miles when they purchase daily necessities with their co-branded credit card. In addition to our existing bank partnership, we have recently signed a MOU with Bank Muscat, a leading bank in Oman, for co-branded credit cards and a frequent flyer program tie-up.

IF
Do you plan to introduce a cash plus miles award option?
Waghe
Last year we introduced the option of transferring and buying Sindbad Miles online. Our members can definitely expect more enhancements which would, in the near future, include the cash plus miles option.

IF
You mentioned that you will be introducing online award redemption?
Waghe
Yes, we are in a process of introducing online redemption functionality and expect to announce the same by the second quarter of 2011. Once launched, members will not only enjoy the convenience of online redemption but will also get the benefit of advance booking deadline waivers and certain fee waivers.

IF
What do you feel are some of the best benefits for business travelers traveling on Oman Air?
Waghe
Marking a pioneering milestone in the history of aviation, Oman Air became the first airline in the world to offer both mobile and broadband Internet on board flights. Business travellers now have access to complete On Air communication that incorporates cutting edge technology, giving them the instant ability to connect with business associates and the Web from the comfort of their seat. We have invested our best efforts to ensure that Oman Air is synonymous with distinctive comfort, luxury and the very best that air travel has to offer. Over the coming months we will be unveiling further new routes, services and technologies which will add even greater value to the Oman Air travel experience.

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