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The airline is studying 20 new routes to expand its network by 2020, CEO says

      Published on Wednesday, 25 July , 2018      71 Views     
The airline is studying 20 new routes to expand its network by 2020, CEO says

  • Oman Business

Oman’s budget carrier SalamAir is aiming for profitability by the end of 2019, with a target to list its shares by 2024, as it swells its fleet with re-engined Airbus single-aisle jets.

The carrier plans to add 11 A320 Neo aircraft within 5 years to the three leased planes it currently operates and six to be delivered by 2019, Mohamed Ahmed, chief executive of SalamAir, said in an interview.

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It is studying 20 new destinations, including points in East Africa, for the next phase of its network expansion by 2020.

“The aim was to be profitable within 3 years of operating, so we’re on target to become profitable by the end of 2019,” Mr Ahmed said. “An initial public offering is on the cards after the next five years.”

Launched in January 2017, SalamAir has expanded its network to 12 destinations. It began with domestic routes to Muscat, Salalah and Sohar before expanding regionally with flights to Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Multan, Sialkot, Shiraz and in eastern Europe with Tbilisi and Baku. Last week, SalamAir said it will add six A320 Neos to its fleet, taking delivery of one purchased jet in the fourth quarter and five leased planes by the first quarter of 2019.

he upgraded aircraft have a 6-hour flying radius and the carrier is studying new destinations in India, Iran and East Africa, Mr Ahmed said.

“There’s always demand from Dar-Essalam, Zanzibar, Nairobi and Addis Abba, a mix of business travel and visiting family or friends because of the African community that lives here,” he said. “There’s also demand for connecting India and Africa.”

Oman, a historically traditional trade route situated at the crossroads between East and West, has a large East African diaspora and its neutral political ties with its surrounding neighbours has meant easier access to traffic rights.

SalamAir is planning services to Khartoum next month, Abu Dhabi-Salalah this summer and targeting Dakha, Kathmandu, Riyadh, Kuwait City, Najaf and Alexandria by September, he said. Government negotiations are underway for traffic rights to Cairo.

Category Oman Business | 2018/07/25 latest update at 9:32 AM
Source : The National | Photocredit : Google
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