Oman Air is threatening to switch to Airbus as a direct result of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

The Gulf carrier’s expansion has been set back due to the unavailability of the new generation aircraft.

This has resulted in a “major financial impact” on the airline, CEO Abdulaziz  Al  Raisi revealed.

Speaking at Heathrow at the unveiling of the airline’s new cabin crew uniform, he indicated that the airline’s expansion plans for 2019 had been “significantly curtailed” as a result of the grounding of five 737 Maxs and the non-delivery of a further three that were due to enter service this year.

The airline also suffered revenue losses and market share declines, particularly in its home market, because of the grounding of the airline’s MAXs fleet.

Al Raisi met with top Boeing officials in Muscat recently and  was promised  a  recovery and support plan for Oman Air that would be submitted to the airline before the Paris Airshow starting on Monday (June 17).

Al Raisi was unequivocal when he said: “If I don’t hear back from Boeing before I arrive at Le Bourget airport, then I will have to go ahead with my planned  meeting with Airbus at the airshow.”

All 737 Max aircraft have been grounded since March following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in less than six months.

Boeing is working on a software fix and pilot training in order to win certification for the aircraft to enable it to fly again.

However, the US Federal Aviation Administration has not put a timeframe on when the Max will be allowed to fly again, raising speculation that it could be out of service for the rest of the year.