Oman Air has appointed former CEO Abdulrahaman Al-Busaidy to the newly created position of COO, effective July 1.

The Middle Eastern carrier said the appointment comes at a critical time as it prepares for the next phase of rapid expansion, which will begin with the arrival later this year of the first of 20 new aircraft.

Acting CEO Salim Al Kindy said Al-Busaidy’s “formidable skills and extensive experience will be crucial in helping to guide Oman Air through its next phase of development. We are further delighted that he is returning to Oman Air, having been the airline’s CEO from 2000 to 2006. In the interim period, Oman Air has undergone the significant change and expansion that he helped to plan, but at its heart lays the same mission: to offer an outstanding and seamless passenger experience for all our customers. Abdulrahaman Al-Busaidy’s undoubted expertise will help to ensure that we continue to achieve this mission as we enter our next phase of ambitious growth.”