Oman Air has appointed Wayne Pearce as chief executive officer to replace Peter Hill, who stepped down earlier this month after three-and-a-half years in the role.

Pearce has held senior positions at Australian carrier Qantas and has also served as chief strategy and planning officer at Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways. The new chief executive will now have to devise a strategy for the airline to return to profitability. Although Oman Air has not yet released its full financial results for 2011, the results are expected to be similar to those of 2010 when it lost RO78m ($202m) largely due to heavy investments in its fleet.

Oman Air’s fleet currently consists of seven Airbus A330s, 15 Boeing 737s, two Embraer E175s and two ATR 42s. Two further Embraer E175s are currently on order, with an option of a further five. Oman Air has also confirmed an order for 6 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which are scheduled for delivery in 2015.

Oman Air signed the Dreamliner order during the Dubai Airshow in 2011 (MEED 14:11:11). The order was in line with the carrier’s long-term growth strategy to expand and modernise its fleet.